Leeds Women's Aid reports increase in calls after Spice Girl Mel B told her story of domestic abuse in tell-all new book

A domestic violence charity in Leeds has reported a 20 per cent increase in calls to its helplines after Spice Girl Mel B released a book about her own experiences.

Singer Mel B has prompted women to speak out after sharing her own experiences of domestic abuse.

The singer, who grew up in Kirkstall as Melanie Brown, visited a Leeds Women’s Aid refuge to meet women who had fled domestice violence prior to the release of Brutally Honest last month.

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She said: “The week after there was a 20 per cent increase in helpline calls. That is quite significant. It dropped the week after but the week after went up again.

“That is when she did press interviews and then TV and national press so it makes sense that it peaked.

“We had one woman who said she had seen Melanie in the press talking about her experiences and it gave her the courage to ring and speak about it after years of controlling behaviour.

“Another woman had gone to her book signing, spoken to Mel and that prompted her to call as well.”

The effect that the global superstar’s visit to Leeds had is still being felt - as one woman who told Mel B things she hadn’t spoken about before is continuing to open up to specialist staff.

Ms Peasgood added: “You don’t often get such direct links but we have absolute examples of people saying they would not have come forward had this not happened. That is so powerful and if we can help just one person then we have done good.”

Leeds Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline: 0113 246 0401.