Mel B’s abuse plea: ‘I want you to think about how many women are currently living in fear of their lives’
Mel B wants the world to dwell on “how many women are currently living in fear of their lives”.
The 47-year-old Spice Girl – who has claimed she was in an abusive relationship with her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte and is now a patron of Women’s Aid campaigns – said in a newspaper column to mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday (08.03.23) she is speaking out about violence against females for victims such as Joanna Simpson.
Joanna was bludgeoned to death with a claw hammer in 2010 by her husband who could soon be freed after serving just half his sentence, and her family are meeting Britain‘s justice secretary about the case today. (09.03.23)
Mel wrote in The Sun: “Yesterday’s International Women’s Day was a chance to celebrate, support and empower women.
“As patron of domestic abuse charity Women's Aid – and of course as a Spice Girl – it is everything I stand for.
“But it is also an important moment to look back on the year.
“Today (09.03.23) we will hear Labour MP Jess Phillips read out in Parliament the names of every woman who has been killed by a man this year.
“And as we listen, I want you to think about how many women are currently living in fear of their lives.
“Also today, the family of Joanna Simpson, who was bludgeoned to death with a claw hammer by her estranged husband Robert Brown within earshot of their two small children, will meet Justice Secretary Dominic Raab.
“Brown is due for automatic release this year after serving just 13 years of a 26-year sentence. For manslaughter… it is for women like Joanna I became a campaigner. If you’d told me five years ago how my life would change, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Mel added about being in her allegedly abusive relationship: “All I knew was that my life was in pieces, I was isolated from my family and friends, I had zero self-confidence and had been pushed to the brink of suicide because of this man who I believed would love me.
“Finally I was heard, I was believed and I spoke my truth… staying silent keeps things the same, and abuse thrives in silence.
“While I am still surviving the long-term effects of abuse, which includes PTSD and the outdated attitudes of the family courts, I am proud to be a woman who is here for other women and other survivors of domestic abuse.”
Mel’s column comes after she said she doesn’t think she trusts police enough to report domestic abuse.
She told BBC Two’s Newsnight “I wouldn’t (call police), because I wouldn’t know if they would take it (domestic abuse) seriously.
“Like, if I’m living here and I want to report it to the police, I don’t know if I can trust the police. I don’t know if they’re going to take my allegations seriously.”
The mum-of-three – who had daughter Madison, 11, with her ex Stephen, and has Phoenix, 22, with her ex Jimmy Gulzar and Angel, 15, with Eddie Murphy – warned “younger and younger” people are becoming trapped in abusive relationships as “kids” are now being more intimate earlier.
Mel also branded the issue of domestic violence an “epidemic” in her chat.
She split from film producer Stephen, 47, in 2017 and claimed he had emotionally and physically abused her during their 10-year marriage – which he has strongly denied.