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    Stan makes stand against abuse



    Posts : 127
    Join date : 2010-06-19

    Stan makes stand against abuse

    Post by stanozfan on Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:11 pm


    Pop sensation Stan Walker is urging Taranaki people to take a stand against family abuse.

    The Australian Idol winner will speak and sing tomorrow at the launch at Owae Marae of an anti-violence programme called called E Tu! Stand up against abuse.

    The project is being run in the Waitara community by Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki, a kaupapa Maori service.

    Walker was born in Melbourne but raised in New Zealand, and spent time living in the North Island as a child.

    This is his first visit back to Taranaki since he was a 14-year-old at New Plymouth Boys' High School.

    In an interview with the Taranaki Daily News, he said he wanted to support the project because he had experienced the issue first-hand. He was sexually abused by a cousin when he was nine.

    "It was something that I had already been through and I wanted to make kids aware of what's happening and that there's help out there for them.

    "I want to be able to help so that kids don't feel like they're alone, especially young kids, they don't know how to say it, and sometimes they don't even know how to identify it," he said.

    Part of the process was bringing the subject out into the open, especially in the Maori community.

    "It's not spoken about very much, a lot of that stuff like violence, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse. People don't talk about it because we were brought up that way and that's it."

    That meant too many offenders got away scot-free, but Walker believed it was time for a new generation to rise up and speak out.

    He said making the decision to talk about the abuse "was the hardest thing I've ever done".

    "For years I kept it in, because I struggled with it. Not just the act of the abuse but the emotional parts too."

    Despite that, he was excited about giving people courage, and the knowledge that there were facilities and people who could help.

    "There's always signs. So it's kind of teaching people to be aware of them.

    "Families need to be aware – these situations can be prevented. Sometimes you have to think the worst to prevent the worst from happening," he said.

    His message to the youth of Taranaki tomorrow will be clear: if he can do it, so can they.

    "The best thing I can do is be myself. I guess there are not a lot of artists who do that. They have this persona or alter ego or product that their record company has made them.

    "I'm rugged, you know, and you can't take that out of me. In Australia they call me Australian and I obviously ain't."
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    That attitude seems to be working for him – this year he won four awards at the New Zealand Music Awards, recorded the theme song for the new Narnia movie, travelled to Haiti and sang the national anthem at a Bledisloe Cup test. But what he really values is making a difference in people's lives.

    "People say you shouldn't talk about that [abuse], it's too confronting for the public. I really don't care. Because if it's going to save somebody's life, then I've just got to do it."

    Today's event at Owae Marae is not open to the public.

    Walker will tour New Zealand and perform in New Plymouth in February.

      Current date/time is Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:39 pm