FORMER Spice Girl Mel B has launched a new campaign with charity Women’s Aid to end domestic abuse.
She appears in a powerful new video along with Toby Alexander-Smith who played abuser Gray Aitkins in Eastenders.
Mel B was awarded an MBE in May for her work as a patron of Women’s Aid.
Launching the new awareness campaign, yesterday Mel said: “Today, as we launch our campaign Come Together to End Domestic Abuse, I want to ask people to step up and think about what they can do to end domestic abuse, and challenge the attitudes that make people think it is acceptable.
“I really believe that everyone –teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, friends and relatives of survivors – has a role to play in ending abuse, whether it is directly helping people, or by stopping the myths and victim-blaming – and you can do that wherever you are.”
Her daughter Phoenix Brown, a model, also appears in the new clip.
1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year, and Women’s Aid is asking people to join together and take five simple steps to make a difference.
Using the hashtag #EndAbuseTogether the charity is calling on everyone to call out abuse if they spot it and speak up.
Fellow Women’s Aid patron Julie Walters is also backing the ‘Come Together to End Domestic Abuse’ campaign.
She said: “It is what we do together that will really make the changes we need, so that the future looks different for young people entering relationships for the first time.
“I ask everyone to think: is there something I could do, no matter how big or how small, to help create a world where domestic abuse isn’t tolerated?”
Home Secretary Priti Patel backed the campaign and said: “This campaign has my full support – for far too long the focus has been on what the victim might have done differently, rather than on the behaviour of the perpetrators themselves.”
WOMEN’S AID ARE CALLING ON PEOPLE TO
1) Make a change where you are – in your workplace, school, sports club – is there a domestic abuse policy? Is there a poster in the bathroom or in communal spaces on how to get help? Has anyone had domestic abuse training?
2) Dispel myths about domestic abuse and challenge sexism – domestic abuse doesn’t happen because you provoked the abuser and it isn’t your fault if you are being abused by your partner – sexist attitudes to women’s roles and men’s role must be challenged to end domestic abuse.
3) Take action, your voice counts – join campaigns for better protection for survivors
4) Learn what to say to someone experiencing abuse Women’s Aid can help with this and help you understand the reasons why it may not be easy to just leave.
5) Speak Up – show we are standing up against domestic abuse together. Send us photos and stories about what you are doing in your local area or online to help stop domestic abuse and support survivors. We want to show positive examples of how we can make a difference to encourage others to join with us.