'Tina’s Story' raises domestic abuse awareness

The sister of a murdered Sandwell woman has made a short film to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support that is available for victims and their families.

The film – Tina’s Story – is being launched today on White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Tina Billingham was murdered by her partner in 2017. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour. He was jailed for life for a minimum of 24 years for her murder.

Tina’s sister Mandy wants to help other families avoid losing a loved one through domestic abuse. She has worked with the Safer Sandwell Partnership to make the seven-minute film, which also launches Sandwell’s support for this year’s 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse and can be seen both at sandwell.gov.uk/tinasstory and on YouTube.

In her interview, Mandy describes what life was like for Tina in an abusive relationship, including how Tina’s partner made threats, controlled all the finances and how his behaviour led her to give up work. Mandy said:

“It’s like she had no life behind that front door. It was that constantly walking on egg shells. 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. She 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.”

Mandy hopes the film will help others recognise the signs of domestic abuse and know how and where to seek support. The film will also be used in training sessions for professionals. Chief Superintendent Richard Youds, Chair of the Safer Sandwell Partnership Board, said:

“We would like to thank Mandy for making an awareness-raising film in Tina’s memory to help other families. This was a tragic case and hearing Mandy describe what life was like for Tina day-to-day is heart-breaking.

“Listening to experiences like this will help other victims and their families and friends to identify domestic abuse and it also helps professionals and organisations to continue improving the support they offer.

“We will be actively promoting the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse campaign, sharing regular messages on social media about different types of abuse and how to seek support.”

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse or know someone who is, you can call Black Country Women's Aid on 0121 552 6448, or in an emergency, always call 999.

For more information on support services, visit sandwell.gov.uk/domesticabuse.


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