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Mary J Blige has stepped up her campaign to help victims of domestic abuse – by opening a refuge for battered women in New York.

The star has also been a vocal supporter of women’s charities, alleging her father often beat her mother before he walked out on the family when she was just four years old.

MJB’s organization recently teamed up with Gucci creative director Frida Giannini and several New York-based organizations to fund the opening of the Mary J. Blige Center for Women, based in Yonkers.

The singer was on hand to open the facility on Thursday.

She tells CNN: “All age ranges will be able to come to this center. Women from all walks of life, not just women from poverty-stricken areas. Whatever it is, they’ll be able to come here. There are gonna be psychologists here, doctors here, day care centers here. Anything that you need or they need to be able to better themselves is here for them.”

The Grammy Award winner says she is delighted to use her fame for a good cause: “That’s why I think as celebrities we’re given this job. We’re not given this job to just hold onto this stuff and die with it. We’re given this job to be able to touch someone and say, ‘me, too,’ because they look up to us and look to us for help and guidance and want to be able to relate to us.”

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