Crooner Michael Bolton has launched a five-year campaign to encourage to men to take domestic violence seriously - in a bid to halt rising cases of abuse on women.

The WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN singer has joined forces with LAW + ORDER star Mariska Hargitay as the celebrity voices behind a new incentive to lobby politicians to pass a new Violence Against Women law, that will severely punish wifebeaters and abusive boyfriends.

A spokesman for Bolton says, "There's no personal history. It's just a passion for him. He believes someone has to help battered women, and it's more powerful if that comes from a man.

"Michael is a friend of JOE TORRE (NEW YORK YANKEES baseball coach) and he lived that life growing up, so Michael is partly doing it for him."

Bolton is also producing a new TV movie, all about domestic violence, with celebrated film-maker MARYANN DeLeo.

18/02/2005 19:21