Melanie Brown, better known as “Mel B,” is now an MBE, thanks to her services to charitable causes and vulnerable women.
Brown rose to fame in the 90s ad Scary Spice. After escaping an abusive relationship, she was made patron of the charity Women’s Aid in 2018.
“I never thought I would be here getting this MBE for the work I’ve been doing,” Brown told the PA news agency after being presented with the honor by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.
“It’s amazing to have but it’s not just for me – it’s for all those other women. Especially because of Covid, there’s been such an epidemic of domestic violence, that’s been completely on the rise, and you know I’ve got an army of women behind me that need help and need to be heard,” she continued.
Brown has spoken out about her relationship with the father of her child, Stephen Belafonte. They were together for more than a decade.
Speaking with the Guardian, Brown shared how the signs of abuse slowly began to trickle into their relationship.
“It starts with tiny things,” she said. “‘Oh, don’t wear that dress – I’ve bought you this dress.'” Telling you what to wear is not so tiny, I say. “It wasn’t like: ‘Put this dress on!’ It was: ‘Look what I’ve bought for you! I saw you looking at it on Net-a-Porter.’ And you think: ‘Oh my God, that’s so sweet!” when actually they’re starting to take over everything.”
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than four in 10 Black women experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes. White women, Latinas, and Asian/Pacific Islander women reported lower rates.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233; toll-free). Call the hotline for crisis intervention and referrals to resources, such as women’s shelters.
Call 911 or your local emergency number or law enforcement agency in an emergency.