“I won’t stand for domestic abuse, I won’t accept it.”

11th October 2016

“My name is Warner Newman, I’m a musician. I am also a child survivor of  domestic abuse, and I’m here to talk about my brand new single, ‘Runaway’.

The title says it all. I grew up in New Zealand, in a violent and abusive household, and my life was a never-ending rollercoaster of emotions. But, I always had music on tap. It was what saved me and made me free. Music was the air that I breathed.  Music was, and is, my life.

It’s a subject that a lot of people tend to not want to talk about, like it just doesn’t happen – like it’s a dark shadow that we refuse to bring into the light.

I never understood why it was happening to me. And most of all, why no one could hear me. No matter how loud I screamed, inside and out, I felt like people were deaf to what I was trying to tell them. Being bullied at school is something that seems pretty normal I guess – or it seemed normal to me, because it was how I was being treated at home.

It’s not easy to go to someone and say, ‘Oh yeah, my mum’s boyfriend is throwing me around the house’ – nobody really believed me when I did say that. I got, ‘Oh yeah, I get told off too’. But this was not discipline; this was abuse.

What I have learned is that it is hard to understand domestic abuse, or see how terrible it is, if you cannot take a step back. Many people are never able to make that step. But I did, and then I realised what a bad place I was in.

It caused a division between me and my mother. My mother seemed to accept the abuse. I didn’t realise at the time that she had been through a few abusive relationships and it was normal to her. It definitely wasn’t to me, and I didn’t want this to be my life. The resentment I felt towards her, it closed me down. I grew to dislike her quite badly. I never really understood why she would allow this to happen. And she loved me, definitely, and loves me still. Domestic abuse is such an evil poison;  it can really destroy relationships and families in ways you cannot imagine. This is why we must talk about it.

And what I know now is that she wasn’t allowing the abuse to happen. It was his fault for not stopping the abuse.

‘Runaway’ draws on my own experiences of being a child survivor of domestic abuse – the scar that stays with you as you grow up.

I won’t stand for domestic abuse, I won’t accept it. It cannot be hidden away. This is why I respect Women’s Aid. And I hope ‘Runaway’ resonates with people, and helps raise awareness of the darkness of domestic abuse. Let’s get it out in the light, and bring it out of the shadows. I am putting my experience out there to help all survivors, everywhere. I want to help you all into the light. I dedicate this track to every woman and child who suffering from domestic abuse.

 Pre-order ‘Runaway’ now on iTunes. It’s available on Apple Music, Spotify and all good music streaming services on the 28th October. You can check out the video now on Vevo or go to www.warnernewman.com. Profits from ‘Runaway’ are being donated to Women’s Aid.

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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