I hadn’t actually ever heard any music by Frances before this and I will be actively hunting out some more. I thought this song was actually really beautiful but more importantly the video shares a message that really needs to be spread as widely as possible. Frances has teamed up with Refuge to try to use this video to tell women experiencing domestic violence that they are not alone.
I am very lucky that in my relationships I have never experienced domestic violence. As I look back at that sentence it actually makes me feel sad. Not because it’s never happened to me, but that I genuinely feel lucky that I haven’t. Don’t you think that’s a scary thought? Something else that is scary is these statistics –
- Two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales alone.
- One in every two young women experience controlling behaviours from a partner – and over a third of young people would not know where to turn to for support.
Thinking about it, I don’t think I’d know where to turn to for support either because as much as your friends and family may want to help it can be embarrassing to turn to them and let them know what’s going on behind closed doors and even then, that’s only if it’s possible to turn to them.
The aim of the video is to ensure women who experience domestic violence realise they are not alone and that Refuge can support them. The film depicts a woman going about her daily life; except that due to the abuse she is experiencing, she becomes visibly more isolated and alone. One day, she meets a character representing Refuge, who recognises and understands what she is going through and supports her to escape the abuse and rebuild her life.
The female character is based on Melanie Clarke, a real-life Refuge client who benefited from the charity’s expert support following more than decade of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her ex-partner, whom she met when she was 14. On any given day, Refuge’s specialist services support close to 5,000 women and children like Melanie and her family.
Frances said: “I feel so honoured to be a part of this campaign for Refuge. I want nothing more than to give something back with my music, and I hope that this incredibly important video which features my song, Grow, will resonate with people all over the world, and especially to women who are experiencing domestic violence and needing help as we speak. Refuge is here for them – we want people to realise they are not alone.”
Melanie Clarke commented: “I was so pleased to take part in this video. I understand what it’s like to feel as though nobody knows what you are going through. I was living with domestic violence behind closed doors for years – I kept it all to myself and told my family and friends I was fine. My ex-partner had deliberately isolated me; his controlling ways made me isolate myself from people.
“When I received support from Refuge, it was like somebody turning on a light. They supported me to realise I was not alone and that I could have a safe and happy future.”
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, added: “Refuge is delighted to partner with the very talented Frances. Her beautiful and poignant song ‘Grow’ is a perfect fit for this incredibly powerful video.
“Domestic violence is the biggest issue facing women and children in our society: two women a week are killed at the hands of their partner in England and Wales alone. Yet often, it is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Just like in the animation, women experiencing abuse can feel they have nowhere to turn. Isolation is a common tactic of control for abusers – it is one of the many ways perpetrators gradually erode a woman’s identity, like water dripping on a stone.
“Music is a powerful and effective way to reach people, especially younger people, with important messages. Thanks to Frances’ legions of fans, more young women will be made aware of the support Refuge can provide. It is shocking that one in two young women has experienced controlling behaviours from a partner – and this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg, with a third of young people saying they find it difficult to define the line between a caring action and a controlling one. Clearly, more awareness is needed; Refuge is determined to use whatever creative means possible to reach young women. I am grateful to Frances and BBH for helping Refuge to bring this appalling crime out of the shadows, and I hope the ‘Grow’ video is watched and shared far and wide.”
Even if this doesn’t affect you directly, please share this video. Someone you know may just see it and give them the extra incentive they need to reach out and escape a horrible situation.