Thank you, Jamelia.

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Glamorous pop star Jamelia raises the profile of the unglamorous reality of domestic violence. Her current hit 'Thank you' celebrates overcoming a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. 1-4 women will undergo the damage Jamelia sings about.

One in four women throughout the UK have cause to thank singer Jamelia right now. Why? Because she is not only young, beautiful and talented, she’s also a survivor of domestic violence and she’s prepared to come out and sing about it.

The tune of ‘Thank you’, her latest single is easy on the ears. The words are not.

Jamelia catalogues the humiliations she suffered at the hands of a violent, abusive partner. The chorus: For every last bruise you gave me/for every time I sat in tears/ for the million ways you hurt me’, will resonate with hundreds of thousands of women up and down the country who have been there.

Jamelia makes us sit up and listen because she explodes the comforting myths that even women want to believe about domestic violence. She makes us look at our own ignorance and denial of the reality.

These myths include:

‘It’s not that common.’

‘It doesn’t happen in a community like mine.’

‘It only happens to women who are weak.’

‘They don’t have to stay in it.’

The facts explode the myths.

Fact. It happens to one in four women at some point in their life. Often they endure it for years in silence because they feel it must somehow be ‘their fault’, or because they won’t be believed. Violent men can present a very charming, non-violent façade outside the home.

Fact. It happens in all communities, in every sector of society and affects women of all ages – although women between the agest of 16 and 24 are the most likely to be victimized by a violent partner.

Fact. The brutality of abusive men, whether physical or mental, is very disempowering and intimidating. Often the police do not have the powers to keep a violent man away from their ex-partner.

Fact. 2 women a week, over 100 women a year, are murdered by a violent partner or ex-partner. More than half these murders take place after the woman has separated from or divorced her partner. Up to 70% of women who break up with their violent partner can expect ongoing harassment, threats and violent assaults months, even years, later.

The statistics are appalling. The estimated cost of domestic violence, in Greater London alone, is £278,000,000 per year. Not to mention the emotional cost of the shattered lives of the women and children who have been victimised.

Not everyone rises from the ashes as swiftly or as meteorically as Jamelia. Her courage in laying bare her own experience has struck a blow for battered women everywhere. Once the single is no longer in the charts let us not tune out to the reality again. We worry over the divorce rate and the effect it will have on our children, but the rate of domestic violence is not that far behind.

Annie Kaszina is a writer and Personal Coach who is committed to raising awareness of the reality of domestic violence. She works with survivors of abusive relationships to help them go beyond recovery to self-discovery and has written an eBook for survivors of domestic violence to help them on their way.    You can order her book by visiting http://www.joyfulcoaching.com and subscribe to her newsletter by sending a blank email to anniekaszina@smartgroups.com.

For further information contact Annie Kaszina at (** 01708 443435 mobile 07712 924124 **)

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Annie Kaszina