Women’s Aid Patron Melanie Brown’s video with composer Fabio d’Andrea ‘Love Should Not Hurt’ raises vital awareness of domestic abuse
Today, national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid is proud to launch an awareness-raising music video called Love Should Not Hurt, featuring Patron Melanie Brown (Mel B from The Spice Girls). The music release is by classical composer Fabio D’Andrea.
Available to view here, Love Should Not Hurt is from British classical composer Fabio D’Andrea’s new album 24, and highlights the reality of domestic abuse through music and dance.
Made in collaboration with Women’s Aid, the video was inspired by Melanie’s conversations with survivors of domestic abuse, and the impact of lockdown on women living with an abusive partner during the global pandemic.
According to Women’s Aid report A Perfect Storm, 61% of survivors living with the abuser said that the abuse had worsened and more than two-thirds said they felt they had no one to turn to during lockdown. Ten women and two children were killed by men in the first two weeks of the lockdown (between 23 March and 6 April). This is three times higher than the average in England and Wales of three women killed every two weeks (ONS 2020).
Estimates published by WHO indicate that globally about 1 in 3 (30%) of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Every member of the cast and crew working on the video had experience of knowing someone affected by domestic abuse, including one of Fabio’s producers whose assistant Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, was murdered by her boyfriend two years ago.
As well as composing the music, Fabio d’Andrea directed the short film, with the dance developed by The Greatest Showman choreographer Ashley Wallen.
The video highlights both physical violence and also coercive control whereby the perpetrator controls the survivor including by spying on her, isolating her from friends and family, and denying her access to her own money.
Melanie Brown Women’s Aid patron said
“I’m so incredibly proud to be part of this project which means so much to me because this is a collaboration of three things that are so important in my life – music, dance and a way to highlight the ever-increasing issue of violence towards women. It seems strange to say I am proud of showing something so brutal and disturbing but it is my mission to raise awareness of something so many women go through every day, every week, every month of their lives.
“This video is very real. Violence and abuse happen everywhere. And this performance represents the stories and the experiences of those women I have met, spoken to or heard about. It touches all of us.
“I have had my own experiences of abusive relationships but as patron of Women’s Aid I have spoken to so many other women, listened to what they have gone through and I know how very real the danger is to so many women out there and I’m not going to stop breaking the silence and then shame around this subject because it’s too much and we have to stand up and do something.
“This performance represents the stories and the experiences of those women I have met, spoken to or heard about. My heart breaks for every single woman and child who suffers from any form of domestic abuse, and while the film shows a range of abuse, I want to send a clear message that you don’t have to be hit to be abused. Coercive control is at the heart of domestic abuse – it is about power and control.”
Farah Nazeer chief executive at Women’s Aid said
“We are so grateful to Melanie Brown, Fabio d’Andrea and everyone involved for their commitment, passion and dedication in creating this powerful video. It comes at a crucial time for us, following the domestic abuse act, which, finally after four years, has become law. Vital changes have been made, however, there are significant gaps. We will continue to campaign to ensure that all women regardless of their immigration status are protected from abuse, that refuges run by domestic abuse experts are properly funded, and that the family courts make judgements that put a child’s safety first. This video will raise world-wide awareness of domestic abuse and strengthen our campaigning work.”
Fabio d’Andrea video director and music composer said
“Domestic violence exists in every section of society but we rarely hear about it. This music and this video aim to change that. This video performance represents the stories and the experiences of many, many women. It is very real, very raw. Violence and abuse happen everywhere. Everyone involved in this project and the production of this project had their own experiences so this was hugely emotional for everyone. It’s heartbreaking in so many ways but we hope this video can be used as a force for good.”