The X-Men star, a patron of women’s shelter Refuge, fears the organisation will struggle to continue operating in the face of budget cuts by the British government.
He tells Britain’s The Guardian, “The impact of these cuts will be devastating. The financial footing of women’s charities has been shaky for many years; now it is in real danger of slipping into the abyss.
“Let me be quite clear about what is at stake here. Without services such as refuges, more women and children will be trapped in violent relationships. Domestic violence rarely peters out. On the contrary, abuse tends to escalate over time. If they can’t get help – preferably at the earliest opportunity – their stories may well have the most tragic of conclusions.”
Stewart was deeply affected after seeing his dad Alfred abuse his mum Gladys, and admits the painful memories have inspired his fundraising drive.
He adds, “Refuge – along with other women’s charities – is facing its toughest year to date. The gradual erosion of statutory funding has made Refuge even more reliant on voluntary income, but fundraising is an uphill battle… It saddens me beyond description that women and children experiencing domestic violence today are being left to deal with fear and abuse on their own – just as my mother was, more than 60 years ago.”