News – Conservative Party Conference – Mel B appears at Tory conference to call for more help for domestic abuse victims

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63111261

Spice Girl Melanie Brown has spoken at a Conservative Party conference event to appeal for more support for domestic abuse victims.

Ms Brown was appointed MBE this year for her work with vulnerable women.

She became a patron for Women’s Aid in 2018, after leaving what she called an abusive relationship.

“I am not here because I am Mel B, Scary Spice from the Spice Girls,” she told the conference event. “I am here because I am Melanie Brown MBE.”

The campaigner said domestic abuse was “everywhere” in society.

“You can be from a council estate, which I am, or you can be from a country estate – which I am now,” she said.

She told the event she was “probably the last person you would expect to find at a Tory Party conference”.

But she was there, she said, to call for more support through the health service and court system for domestic abuse victims.

“Every judge I have come across looks in complete horror like, ‘Well, you look put together, you look all right, what is wrong with you?'”

Ms Brown said she was in an abusive relationship for a decade but kept it a secret.

“I couldn’t pick up the phone to call my mum, my friends, I didn’t have access to anything,” she said.

“And you think, well, Spice Girls are all about girl power, but let me tell you, when these abusers get their hooks into you, there is no way out, really – [or] so you think.”

The event, organised by Women’s Aid and the Sun newspaper, was called “Speak out against domestic abuse”, and was one of many fringe events at the Conservative conference in Birmingham.

Home Office minister Mims Davies told the audience: “As the minister for safeguarding, I have got a fairly big inbox and this is absolutely one of the crucial ones.

“Let’s say no to tolerance on this. This is criminality in homes. It is time that we really push on and help women to move forward from this, and there is no opportunity for people to find tolerance at long last.”

Later on Twitter, Ms Brown told Ms Davies on Twitter “we need to talk urgently” about the issues raised at the event.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-63111261

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