Infotainment Factory: 'I can still remember her screams'

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Thursday, 13 December 2018

'I can still remember her screams'


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Cronulla Sharks legend Luke Lewis has reflected on the traumatic night he witnessed his mother become a victim of domestic violence.

The two-time premiership winner bravely delved into the horrific childhood memory in his recent tell-all autobiography Cool Hand Luke.

Lewis revealed he and his family carried the emotional repercussions from the night his mother was hit and “pulled around the loungeroom by her hair”, with feelings of “anger” and “frustration” plaguing the veteran second-rower throughout his career.

“We lived with domestic violence in our home for quite a few years. The man wasn’t my father – I haven’t really had a chance to meet him – but someone Mum was with while I was quite young,” Lewis revealed in an excerpt for Players Voice.

Luke Lewis

“There were a lot of bad times, but there’s one night in particular that has always stayed with me.

“This person hit Mum right in front of me. She was so close to where I was standing I could’ve reached out and touched her. She fell to the ground and he pulled her around the loungeroom by her hair, threw her into a room and slammed the door shut. I can still remember her screams.

“It was like a home invasion, but the crime was being committed by someone who lived with us. The walls were getting smashed, doors were broken, glasses were being thrown around and broken all over the kitchen.”

Following the incident Lewis revealed he found it difficult to leave the house at night for many years over the fear of leaving his mother and sister alone.

Luke Lewis

“I would think to myself, ‘Mate, you can’t even sleep the night at a friend’s house, what’s wrong with you?’ And all the while I’d be thinking about Mum and the things I’d seen done to her. You can’t unsee those things.”

Fortunately, his mother was eventually able to break off the relationship with the man, and it wouldn’t be until years later, when Lewis would become and ambassador for the White Ribbon foundation, that he was suddenly faced with reliving with one of his darkest memories.

“I was supposed to do some ambassadorial work with the NRL a while ago, and I found it was bringing back a lot of memories. That was quite scary. No matter what this person did to my family, I don’t want to be the guy who strikes back with violence,” he admitted.

“I’ve tried hard to get myself out of that headspace and not think about it too much.

Luke Lewis

“It’s done and dusted. One door closed and another one opened.

“Mum went through a lot of hard times. We all did. I was a bit nervous about discussing them in the book at first, but she made it clear she supported me sharing our story in the hope it might help a few people along the way.”

Cronulla Sharks legend Luke Lewis has reflected on the traumatic night he witnessed his mother become a victim of domestic violence.

The two-time premiership winner bravely delved into the horrific childhood memory in his recent tell-all autobiography Cool Hand Luke.

Lewis revealed he and his family carried the emotional repercussions from the night his mother was hit and “pulled around the loungeroom by her hair”, with feelings of “anger” and “frustration” plaguing the veteran second-rower throughout his career.

“We lived with domestic violence in our home for quite a few years. The man wasn’t my father – I haven’t really had a chance to meet him – but someone Mum was with while I was quite young,” Lewis revealed in an excerpt for Players Voice.

Luke Lewis

“There were a lot of bad times, but there’s one night in particular that has always stayed with me.

“This person hit Mum right in front of me. She was so close to where I was standing I could’ve reached out and touched her. She fell to the ground and he pulled her around the loungeroom by her hair, threw her into a room and slammed the door shut. I can still remember her screams.

“It was like a home invasion, but the crime was being committed by someone who lived with us. The walls were getting smashed, doors were broken, glasses were being thrown around and broken all over the kitchen.”

Following the incident Lewis revealed he found it difficult to leave the house at night for many years over the fear of leaving his mother and sister alone.

Luke Lewis

“I would think to myself, ‘Mate, you can’t even sleep the night at a friend’s house, what’s wrong with you?’ And all the while I’d be thinking about Mum and the things I’d seen done to her. You can’t unsee those things.”

Fortunately, his mother was eventually able to break off the relationship with the man, and it wouldn’t be until years later, when Lewis would become and ambassador for the White Ribbon foundation, that he was suddenly faced with reliving with one of his darkest memories.

“I was supposed to do some ambassadorial work with the NRL a while ago, and I found it was bringing back a lot of memories. That was quite scary. No matter what this person did to my family, I don’t want to be the guy who strikes back with violence,” he admitted.

“I’ve tried hard to get myself out of that headspace and not think about it too much.

Luke Lewis

“It’s done and dusted. One door closed and another one opened.

“Mum went through a lot of hard times. We all did. I was a bit nervous about discussing them in the book at first, but she made it clear she supported me sharing our story in the hope it might help a few people along the way.”

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