Ulrika Jonsson backs Mel B’s mistrust of police over domestic abuse

Ulrika Jonsson backs Mel B’s mistrust of police over domestic abuse



Former Gladiators star Ulrika Jonsson, 55, has opened up about how she feels women’s “faith in the system has disappeared” following the news that Joanna Simpson’s killer might soon walk free. She also praised Mel B for her efforts in campaigning for domestic abuse to be treated with greater urgency.


In her new column, Ulrika spoke about Joanna Simpson’s killer, Robert Brown, who could go free from prison after serving just half of his 26-year prison sentence.

As Ulrika recalled with disgust, the “evil” killer bludgeoned his wife to death with a claw hammer in 2010 within earshot of their two children.

In light of this story, Ulrika talked more widely about how the police handle domestic abuse cases in this country – and why it fuelled women’s mistrust of the people who are supposed to keep them safe.

Discussing the efforts of Spice Girls star Melanie Brown, she penned: “Mel B, who has done such a sterling job campaigning for domestic abuse to be treated with greater urgency after claiming she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte, during their ten-year marriage, said this week that she would be unlikely to go to the police even today because she just doesn’t trust them.


“I think that’s true for many women,” Ulrika, who is a domestic abuse survivor herself, explained.

“There is a collective reluctance to tell our truths because we fear not being believed, getting lost in the system, and not being taken seriously by an authority that has time and time again been proven to be sexist and misogynistic.”

In her column for the Sun, Ulrika went on to recall how the “abuse” Mel suffered, which has always been denied by her ex, was often hidden by the star as a means of “self-preservation”.

The columnist suggetsed that this also partly demonstrates “why the system keeps letting down survivors, because if they struggle to reach out for help from friends or family, the chance of them turning to the authorities for support and protection is zero.”

In the end, Ulrika came to the conclusion that “police are too poorly trained to deal with this crime.”

“Little wonder Joanna’s mum feels helpless,” she added in reference to the late mum of two. “Our faith in the system has not just diminished, it has disappeared.”

Ulrika also shared some shocking stats, including research from Women’s Aid, who says two women are murdered each week by their partner.

Domestic abuse also affects more than one in four women before the age of 50, according to a recent World Health Organization study.

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A few days ago, Mel B told BBC Newsnight she would only report domestic abuse if “the whole entire system” of justice was reformed by the government.

She said that she would not trust the police with the issue, for fear of not being “taken seriously”.

The singer has become a firm campaigner for domestic abuse survivors after leaving what she has described as an abuse relationship.

“I wouldn’t [call the police], because I wouldn’t know if they would take it seriously,” the Women’s Aid patron said.


She went on to explain how she felt police officers need better education in order to spot the “tell-tale signs” that someone is a victim of abuse.

“Like if I’m living here and I want to report it to the police, I don’t know if I can trust the police,” she said.

“I don’t know if they’re going to take my allegations seriously,” she reiterated.

The star, who used to go by Scary Spice as part of the iconic 90s pop group, was awarded an MBE for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women last year.

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