28th November 2019
|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 – was launched today (Monday 25 November) 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 people can watch at www.sandwell.gov.uk/tinasstory and on YouTube.
The film also launches Sandwell’s support for this year’s 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse.
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.”
Mandy goes on to describe how Tina’s life was “regimented” as she had to “ask him for money for the phone, for utilities, for food”.
She added: “Her life really wasn’t her own, she was just constantly having to meet his needs and demands. 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.”
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.
She added: “No family should have to go through the pain of losing a loved one through domestic abuse. The loss has affected everyone who knew and loved Tina deeply and I hope that by raising greater awareness, we can help stop other families receiving that earth-shattering phone call or knock on the door.”
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, call Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448. In an emergency, always call 999. For Samaritans, call 116 123.
Go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/domesticabuse for more information on support services.
Clare’s Law gives anyone a right to ask the police if they believe that they or someone they know is in a relationship with an individual who could be abusive towards them.
Use the West Midlands Police Live Chat facility, call 101 or visit West Bromwich Police Station to request information via Clare’s Law.
You can also seek help at the council’s six Sandwell Local centres. Find your nearest Sandwell Local at www.sandwell.gov.uk/sandwelllocals or call 0121 368 1166 (weekdays).