Hip hop artist Matt Colwell, known by his stage-name '360', has released a heartfelt rap video that takes a stand against domestic violence.
Titled, 'If You Love Them, You Never Hit Them,' the song features powerful lyrics from Colwell over singer Sia's 'Breathe Me.' Through a portrayal of the plight of victims, he speaks directly to perpetrators of domestic violence.
360 opens: "I wanna know how you feel, man. Do you think you're a real man? What about your children? This s**t right here is gonna kill them."
Inspired by a case of domestic violence against a woman, Colwell's rap goes on to describe the entrapment that surrounds victims.
"You're so alone, though. You might die if you don't go. See, it's hard to take...you can't escape. It's like you're in prison in your own home," he raps.
"One second, you get a nice kiss. The next, you might get a right fist. It could be any night...you knew he had a temper, but never like this."
360 makes a passionate plea for victims to seek help.
"You don't need to be brave. Stop leaving it be. Your kids are the reason you stay, but they need to be the reason you leave," he continues.
"It doesn't matter if you're men or women. If you love them, then you'll never hit them."
The video has had over 165,000 views and 5,600 shares within 24 hours of being uploaded on to Facebook.
Colwell received a powerful response from fans, prompting victims and family members to share stories of their own experience of domestic violence.
“Every single word you said is me and my ex! I stayed for the children,” said one person on Facebook.
“I stayed just for them! I finally got out when I knew he was going to kill me. Thank you so much for being real and honest in your music. Even if it does mean I'm crying from the memories and the fact that I'm finally free!”
“I can’t believe finally someone can sing how I feel. I'm living a nightmare even though I've got out,” said another.
“Thanks for speaking for those who don’t usually speak up.”
The video also attracted criticism from those believing Colwell was type-casting men as perpetrators who “cop it too".
He penned a response on Facebook this morning:
“Domestic abuse is not okay regardless of who’s the abuser and the abuse...It just so happens the inspiration for this song came from a case where the female was the abused, but the whole point of this song is to say it's never okay to hit someone. That’s it.”
Colwell has become known as a powerful educator through his music. He recently posted a rap video revealing his recent history with drugs that reached 5 million views in less than 24 hours.
In 2012, Colwell and his then-fiancee Crystal Bale campaigned for the awareness of depression and suicide in a series of videos.
Colwell’s latest rap is an important attempt to continue raising public awareness about domestic and family violence, following a powerful video campaign released by the NSW Police force on February 24.
It's Not Your Fault
NSW Police has today launched a powerful new video campaign to raise public awareness about the issue of domestic and family violence.“It’s not your fault” is the theme of the campaign, which consists of a 30-second community service announcement (CSA) for TV, as well as a longer version for cinemas and social media.In NSW, police respond to more than 140,000 incidents of domestic and family violence per year. This translates to about 380 cases every day.Today’s CSA launch coincides with a state-wide roll-out of a new process for targeting repeat domestic-violence offenders.For over a decade, NSW Police has used a process called the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) to deal with high-risk and repeat offenders.The process has recently been adapted to include high-risk domestic violence offenders, and following successful trials in the Central Metropolitan Region, this refinement is now being introduced state-wide.“The STMP model will ensure the state’s most serious domestic-violence offenders face the highest level of scrutiny by police, and allow us to intervene before they commit their next offence,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.“This renewed focus on offender accountability is part of our ongoing commitment to providing the utmost level of support to the victims of domestic and family violence.“We have made other significant headway. For example, in a world first, NSW police can now record domestic violence video evidence at the time of an incident, which relieves the victim of the emotional burden of giving evidence in court.“But a problem of this magnitude won’t go away in a hurry. We still have much more work to do, and that includes raising public awareness about the issue through campaigns like the one we are launching today,” he said.Members of NSW Police’s Domestic Violence Team used their own front-line experience investigating and prosecuting domestic-violence cases to write, direct and produce the community service announcement.The aim of the campaign is to remind people there is no excuse for domestic and family violence, and it is never the victim’s fault.“Domestic violence is a serious crime and police are committed to bringing offenders to justice,” Commissioner Scipione said.“Every day police battle the community perception that domestic violence is a ‘family matter’ or ‘private business’.“That is most definitely not the case. If you are aware this is occurring in your community, you are obliged to report it, like any other crime.“Some may find the images in these videos confronting; we do not apologise for this. Domestic and family violence is a confronting issue, and one we must continue to face head-on,” Commissioner Scipione said.NSW Police Force’s Corporate Spokesperson on Domestic and Family Violence, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller, said it is only fitting the videos were developed by police.“Police officers attend hundreds of domestic-violence incidents every day and see first-hand the impact and harm it has on families,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.“Children are the hidden victims of domestic violence, which is why children feature so prominently in the campaign.“There are no innocent bystanders in this space. By reporting domestic violence, you could prevent the next homicide,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.Police are urging anyone with information about domestic-violence crimes to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.Posted by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence call the national sexual assault, domestic violence counselling service on 1800 RESPECT (737732) 24-hours a day. If you are in immediate danger please call 000.