From Amnesty International UK's HumanTV YouTube Channel:
Complete transcript below the fold.
[...]because here in the UK, almost 50 percent of all adult women claim that they have been the victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking. So I would like to see these issues taken as seriously by the government as quite properly they take issues of drunk driving, violence against minors, and their smoking campaigns.
The look on Stewart's face at the end as he says "and their smoking campaigns" says way more than the transcript alone.
The close-up camera work here makes it excruciatingly clear how difficult it is for Stewart to talk about this, yet he does so anyway. Many thanks and much respect to you, Mr. Stewart.
There is a much longer talk, an address to Amnesty International, here. I don't have time to transcribe it, as it is 14 minutes long. Trigger warning for violence applies.
We've linked to Stewart's essay in The Guardian before, but here it is again, for the sake of having all the links in one place. The Guardian also published some reader's responses to Stewart's piece.
I was a child during a time when domestic violence against women was a shameful secret. Everybody knew about it, everyone knew where it was happening, but nobody was doing anything about it. And within the immediate family circle, it was so shameful and embarrassing an aspect of your home life that no one wanted it exposed or discussed. The end result was that it continued, and there was no attempt, either from the authorities, or within the community itself, to diminish it.
I experienced first-hand violence against my mother, from an angry and unhappy man, who was not able to control his emotions, or his hands. And the harm done by those events, of course the physical harm, the physical scars that were left, the blood that was shed, the wounds that were exposed, were a shocking pain. But, there are other aspects of violence, which have more lasting impacts; psychologically on family members it is destructive—destructful and tainting.
As a child witnessing these events, one cannot help somehow feeling responsible for them. For the pain, and the screaming, and the misery. And it is deeply confusing and those confusions are not things which are easily disposed of in adult life—they stay with you, and you are given—the child is given—a very bad lesson in male responsibility and self-control. And I know that in my own life, in the past, I have had issues in relationships with women in my life, which have a history in the experiences I had as a child, in my own home.
It is a worldwide phenomena, and in places, in countries, of a much more severe and destructive form than anything I experienced, and that’s one of the reasons why the campaign, which Amnesty International is spearheading, to bring people’s attention to domestic violence is so important, because it is here among us, and it is certainly in the world at large. So far as the authorities are concerned, there have been great advances, and there needed to be. Because as a child, I heard police officers in my home say, “Well, she must have provoked him.” And I heard doctors who came to treat my mother say, “Well, Mrs. Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea.
Today we are much more sensitive to these issues, but not sensitive enough. Still these things are hushed up. Still people don’t talk about them. Still the violence is allowed to continue. And one way in which this deeply troubling element in modern life can be opposed is through government intervention. I would like to see our government taking as seriously issues of violence against women—and these issues are huge, because here in the UK, almost 50 percent of all adult women claim that they have been the victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking. So I would like to see these issues taken as seriously by the government as quite properly they take issues of drunk driving, violence against minors, and their smoking campaigns.