How Tina Turner opened the way for women to fight domestic violence

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How Tina Turner became a symbol of the fight against domestic violence
CBS Archive
19:30, 26.05.2023

The great singer Tina Turner, who died on 24 May 2023 at the age of 83, is not only known for her work. She managed to break the practice of domestic violence silence and turn personal tragedy into a tool to help many women.

Her candour has inspired other victims to speak out about their own experiences of violence.

The importance of Tina Turner's outspokenness about the domestic violence she experienced during her marriage to Ike Turner has been revealed by the BBC.

Tina Turner, the famous American singer, first spoke out about the abuse she experienced from her ex-husband, Ike Turner, in 1981.

I was madly afraid of the man," she told People magazine.

She recounted the horrific experiences of their marriage, including physical abuse and bullying. Ike forced her to watch a sex show in a brothel on their wedding night, beat her with a shoe-pad when she was pregnant, and poured hot coffee on her. She also told of her suicide attempt in 1968.

Ike Turner, who died in 2007, always denied claims by his ex-wife that he abused her. They met when Tina was just 17 and she became the lead singer of his band Kings of Rhythm. They married in 1962. In 1978, after a string of hits, Tina decided to leave Ike. She could no longer tolerate the torture and the effect it was having on their four sons.

After the divorce, Tina moved away and restarted her career, earning money singing in Las Vegas and appearing in various TV shows. She decided to speak out about her horrors in a 1981 interview to rid herself of the ghosts of her past.

Tina Turner became an important voice in the fight against domestic violence. Her outspokenness helped bring attention to the problem of domestic violence, which at the time was often ignored or hidden. Her story inspired other women to speak out about their own experiences of violence. Her career continued to grow and her story continued to be told. In 1993 the film What's Love Got to Do With It was made, based on her autobiography Me, Tina.

In 2005 Oprah Winfrey, a huge Tina Turner fan, recalled meeting a woman who was inspired by the singer to leave an abusive relationship. Tina Turner has often noted that finding the courage to leave Ike Turner was helped by her Buddhism, which she came to in the 70s. She released a new autobiography, My Love Story, in 2018, where she talked about her love for actor and producer Erwin Bach and how she survived her son Craig's suicide.

Earlier, Socportal wrote that in Ukraine, stress and uncertainty over the war have exacerbated the problem of domestic violence. Tatiana from the town of Obukhov in the Kiev region tells her story. For years she and her children suffered from male violence. After the Russian invasion, the woman went to Germany, where she rethought the whole experience. However, she experienced a terrible loss there - her youngest son died. Accusations of the tragedy poured in on her. Trying to cope with the pain, Tatyana went to a psychologist, who advised her to speak publicly about her experiences.

How to survive domestic violence in wartime

Domestic violence. Where to look for protection and support in war

10:56, 19.05.23
Iryna Yukhymchuk
Iryna Yukhymchuk
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Olena Tkalich

Expert on women's rights, persons with disabilities, motherhood in the modern context, health care reform, education and social welfare.