Mel B says work was her 'safe place' from domestic violence as she shares horror over lockdown effects

·Contributor
·3 min read

Watch: Mel B discusses domestic violence on GMB

Mel B has spoken about her horror at the effects of lockdown on domestic violence victims, as she explained work was her "safe place" from her abusive husband.

The Spice Girl appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday to talk about a video she had made highlighting issues around domestic violence, and told hosts Susanna Reid and Adil Ray of her own experiences.

She said: "You know it's not right the way that somebody's behaving towards you, but you scramble to keep it just happy and fine because then you have to go out there.

Read more: Geri Horner 'proud' of Mel B for domestic violence video

"Like in my case, I was working, I was the main breadwinner, I had to put on my front which actually I was really happy to go to work because that was my safe place.

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock (11907184l)
Susanna Reid and Melanie Brown
'Good Morning Britain' TV Show, London, UK - 17 May 2021
Mel B spoke to Susanna Reid about her experiences. (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

"That's why my heart went out to so many people in lockdown because the abuse spiralled, in the first two weeks it tripled.

"For people that were trapped inside their homes and weren't allowed out, weren't allowed to work, my heart just cried for that situation."

Mel's video, which she teamed up with Women's Aid for, sees her perform a contemporary dance to act out an abusive relationship that she is trying to escape.

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The singer left husband Stephen Belafonte after 10 years of marriage and has accused him of physical and mental abuse during their relationship.

She said: “As a woman that’s gone through it, it does crush your soul, it does really strip you… I’m going to be taking forever to get that back. I've had to build myself up.”

Mel explained that she hadn't spoken to friends or family about what was happening at the time as she felt ashamed and had been convinced that being controlled was normal.

She said: "You put on your armour and you walk out into the world, but behind closed doors, it's very, very different.

WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 15:  Singer Mel B and husband Stephen Belafonte attend the premiere of IFC Midnight's
Melance Brown and Stephen Belafonte separated in December 2016 and she filed for divorce in March 2017 (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)

"(Domestic violence victims are) already isolated from their friends, from their family, and that's one of the major signs that someone is in one of those kinds of relationships, like I was.

Read more: Mel B received racist hate mail at height of Spice Girls fame

"I thought it was normal to not have my phone, normal to not have cash and a credit card on me, because I was told that I 'lose things' - everything was justifiable, and 'oh aren't they being so nice'. They're not."

Mel, who spent years living in the US, added that she had been back in Leeds for lockdown enjoying the company of her mum, sisters and aunties.

Watch: Mel B appears beaten and bruised in domestic violence awareness video