Updates from the council on coronavirus

Check the latest advice on COVID-19 →

Tina's Story

Read more about Tina's story

Tina’s sister Mandy wants to help other families avoid losing a loved one through domestic abuse.

What was Tina like?

Mandy: “She was just absolutely in her element when all the children were around her, young at heart, nothing was too much trouble for the grandchildren.

“As a mom, she pointed the boys in the right direction, she nurtured them and was always there when they needed her, but she did urge them to move on and become men in their own right.

“As a sister, she was the wild card, in her day she loved her clubbing and always out there with all the fashions. But you know she was really fun loving, she loved life.”

What was life like for Tina living with a controlling partner?

Mandy: “It’s like she had no life behind that front door. It was that constantly walking on egg shells, meeting his needs, having to get up at half past six in the morning to make his porridge. She had to explain where she’d been shopping and how much she’d spent and where she was going and how long she was going to be. Her life really wasn’t her own, she was just constantly having to meet his needs and demands.”

In what other ways was Tina’s partner abusive and controlling?

Mandy: “I’d never seen him be physically violent to Tina. Obviously, I have seen the aftermath and the one time that she had no option but to share with me how she got the injuries. I’sort of seen him be violent to the dog and that was when I challenged what was going on, but then I was wary of his reaction and again knowing full well that if I start upsetting him I can go home and I was leaving my sister there, so I was mindful of how I challenged and what I said when I was there at the house visiting.

“All the cars belonged to him, so she would have had to ask about which car she used, ask him for money for the phone, for utilities, for food, so life was absolutely, as I say, sort of regimented.

“She was in her element when she was at work, she had a few cleaning jobs back in the day but then he, because he didn’t trust that she was where she was, he’d be outside the property and she didn’t want to bring any upset to the people that she worked for, so she just stopped working, again another way of controlling.”

What prevented Tina from leaving her partner?

Mandy: “Over the years obviously various threats had been made about ‘If you go, I’ll find you’. She was always concerned about the sons. He knew where some of the family were living. And if she left, she’d be leaving a house full of memories, the dog, the fish, all her personal belongings, she’d have no money, she couldn’t see past that front door.

“It was like her wings were clipped, ‘where would I see my grandchildren?’, would he carry out the threats that he had made so many times on a daily basis?

“So, she literally did have to live a double life, the one all happy go lucky, smiling – but then the other one where she was just destitute, she was trapped.

“He controlled everything, she just literally had no sort of say in what she did.”

What would you say to people who may be concerned about someone being abused or controlled?

Mandy: “I would actually say go with your gut instinct, whatever your feelings are, whatever you’ve seen, whatever concerns you’ve got – then act upon them. But be very cautious and when a victim says, ‘Oh you know, fine, everything’s ok’, try and explain to them about support networks, let them know that if they didn’t want to talk to you because perhaps they’re embarrassed, then talk to a GP because it’s private.

“But never give up, if you’ve got those concerns, you’ve got those gut feelings, then slowly but surely act upon them and then when the victim is ready to go, and they’ve got that faith that they can go and do it safely, support them whatever way you can, but you’ve got to keep safe yourself. Have that checklist and drip feed what services could help them if they need to get out.”

Support available

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, call Black Country Women's Aid on 0121 552 6448.

In an emergency, always call 999. 

Samaritans: 116 123

We would like to thank Mandy for making this film to help other families.

Watch the film and find out more about support services

Pages in "Tina's Story"

  1. Tina's Story
  2. You are here Read more about Tina's story