Alesha Dixon steps out for domestic abuse victims


Talent show judge Alesha Dixon took a walk in the sun this morning as part of a campaign supporting women affected by domestic violence, as it was revealed two women are killed by current or former partners every week in England and Wales - but she refused to comment on Rihanna's reconciliation with Chris Brown.

The Britain's Got Talent star said she believed the walk - part of the Speaking Out In Her Name campaign - over Westminster Bridge to Parliament Square in central London, would make a difference and deemed the statistics "shocking".

She said: "I don't think a lot of people know the figures - that two women a week die.

"The statistics are shocking and it can't happen anymore.

"I think today will make a difference.

"We won't stop until people listen and until change has been made."

Dixon led about 50 women - domestic violence survivors, families of victims and campaigners - on the symbolic walk of hope to commemorate women who have died as a result of domestic violence.

The walk also symbolised hope for a future free of domestic violence.

When asked about what she thought of pop singer Rihanna's reconciliation with Chris Brown after he assaulted her four years ago, Dixon said: "No comment."

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women's Aid, said she believed the scenario was a "complex" one and quite often people are judgmental of the victim when they should be directing that feeling towards the abuser.

She said people should not question why Rihanna has returned to Brown, but instead why Brown assaulted her in the first place, adding that it is impossible to comment on an individual woman.

She said: "I think it's very complex and women - a lot of women - it takes them about seven times of leaving an abuser before they finally do it.

"It's impossible to comment on an individual woman. I think what we should be asking is, not why she went back, but why he did what he did.

"I think what we need to do is question a culture in which domestic abuse is seen as somehow inevitable or even acceptable.

"But I really wouldn't want to pass judgment on any woman, because for most women leaving their abuser is a process, it's not a one-off thing that happens and it's quite difficult to get that across and it's really important that people understand that.

"There is a lot of judgment (handed) out actually towards women who are victims of domestic violence. It's not uncommon for there to actually be quite a judgmental reaction against them, which obviously isn't where the judgmental reaction belongs in reality."

Ms Neate described domestic violence as "one of the most fundamental problems that is facing our society", but said it is "hidden" and "not spoken about".

She said: "There's a lot of shame attached to domestic abuse and what's really important is that we're here to speak out in the name of those women who have died, to raise awareness, to help women to understand what to do if they are victims, and to help everyone to understand what domestic abuse is, that it's not acceptable, and that it is a major problem in our society that we just need to do something about together."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Arts and Entertainment
Sergeant pfeffer: Beatles in 1963
booksA song-by-song survey of the Beatles’ lyrics
Arts and Entertainment
music'I didn't even know who I was'
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl was left in a conundrum with too much talent and too few seats during the six-chair challenge stage
tvReview: It was tension central at boot camp as the ex-Girls Aloud singer whittled down the hopefuls
Arts and Entertainment
Kalen Hollomon's Anna Wintour collage

Arts and Entertainment

TV Grace Dent on TV
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer is believed to be playing a zombie wife in Patient Zero

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Gatiss says Benedict Cumberbatch oozes sex appeal with his 'Byronic looks' and Sherlock coat
Arts and Entertainment
Clothing items bearing the badge have become popular among music aficionados
musicAuthorities rule 'clenched fist' logo cannot be copyrighted
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson will star in Seth MacFarlane's highly-anticipated Ted 2

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in 'Gone Girl'

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?