Star Trek star Patrick Stewart doesn't need a spaceship to change people's lives.
The longtime advocate in support of victims of domestic violence appeared at Comicpalozza over Memorial Day weekend where he was thanked by fan Heather Skye for his 2009 Amnesty International speech on violence against women. Skye told Stewart how much she appreciated his "moving" words because it helped her through her own "personal turmoil," before asking the X Men star what non-acting work he's most proud of.
Her appreciation prompted Patrick to launch into an incredibly touching speech where he shared his own personal experience with domestic violence (grab some tissues before you watch).
"The work that I do in campaigns about violence towards women, particularly domestic violence, is something that grew out of my own childhood experience," he says, referencing his own upbringing in England.
After sharing a bit about the organizations he works with, the British star said (in a voice cracking with emotion) that he does it all in honor of his mother, "Because I couldn't help her then. Now I can."
Although Stewart has previously spoken about his childhood struggles, he says he recently learned that his father, a World War II veteran, was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition which was simply diagnosed as "shell-shock" in the 1940s.
He explains how soldiers were told to "get up and be a man," which is why he now works with both domestic violence and military mental health organizations.
"As a child, I heard in my home doctors and ambulance men say, 'Mrs. Stewart, you must have done something to provoke him,'" he said. "'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. Ever!"
Stewart then got up and gave Skye a hug, and she blogged about her experience on her Tumblr page, sharing how much she was touched by his caring words:
"He told me 'You never have to go through that again, you're safe now.' I couldn't stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked (straight) in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will."