Sunday, June 30, 2013

Actor Patrick Stewart, a longtime outspoken advocate for victims of domestic violence, gave a touching speech about his own experience with domestic violence in response to a fan's question about what non-acting work he's most proud of. Stewart, who grew up in a home where his mother suffered frequent abuse from his father and has called violence against women the "single greatest human rights violation of our generation," talked about his work with organizations that support victims of domestic violence.

Stewart shared: "The work that I do in campaigns about violence towards women, particularly domestic violence, is something that grew out of my own childhood experience. I do what I do in my mother's name, because I couldn't help her then. Now I can." He also added that he recently learned that his father suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to WWII-related combat. After this discovery, he has begun to work with an organization that helps combat veterans deal with their experiences in a healthy, non-abusive manner.

The exchange with the fan was especially touching because she shared that she had also experienced abuse and his speeches on the issue had helped her through her own "personal turmoil." At the end of his response, Stewart came down from the stage to give her a hug and, as she later shared on her blog, told her "You never have to go through that again, you're safe now."

To watch the Stewart's short speech and the moving exchange, visit

In our "Abuse/Violence" section under "Social Issues," we have a selection of selection of books, especially for teen readers, that address issues of violence. There are a number of excellent choices, perfect for sparking conversation around this important topic, including "Speak," "Hush," "I Am an Emotional Creature," "I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This," "A Step From Heaven," and others. To browse the selection, visit

There is also an excellent guide, "A Smart Girl's Guide to Boys," for girls 9 to 13 that "addresses a girl's very first forays into the boy/girl world and gives her wise, warm advice." This is a great resource to provide foundational advice on approaching relationships in a healthy manner:

Another guide for youth 11 and up that discusses relationship issues, as well as other teen challenges, is "I've Got This Friend Who..." at And, for LQBTQ youth seeking relationship guidance, we recommend "Queer" for ages 13 and up at

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