Veteran film and TV actor Patrick Stewart recalled his father’s domestic violence during a recent convention appearance.
Heather Skye told Stewart, best known for his role in Star Trek The Next Generation:
“That speech was really moving to me and it helped me through my own turmoils a little bit.”
She then asked him what he was most proud of beside his acting career. Stewart discussed his work with charities supporting victims of domestic violence.
“I do what I do in my mother’s name because I couldn’t help her then. Now I can.”
Stewart then noticed that the women was becoming upset and gave her a hug, saying:
“You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now”.
Skye told the actor:
“One thing I’ve noticed is there’s still that shaming of the women. (Your) speech really just finally let me say it’s OK that that happened and I can move on and heal.”
Stewart agreeing, remembering the way his mother was blamed for his father’s violence:
“As a child, I heard in my home doctors and ambulance men say, ‘Mrs Stewart, you must have done something to provoke him’, ‘Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make an argument’ ” Wrong, wrong. My mother did nothing to provoke that and even if she had, violence is never, ever a choice that a man should make.”
The remark drew applause from the audience.
Stewart, now 73, was born in Mirfield, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. His father Alfred saw active service during the Second World War and later suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. His mother, Gladys Barrowclough, was a textile worker.
Photo by ken fager via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence