In Her Own Words: Tina’s Story, Part 1
In Sept 2018, I had a choice to make. Someone was going to die – me and my son or my husband, the man I’ve known for 23 years.
This is the most challenging story I will ever tell, but it needs to be out there. If I can help other survivors of intimate partner violence avoid the pitfalls I’ve been through, it will be worth reliving the pain.
Unfortunately, the stigma of domestic violence is still strong and affects families, friends, and the courts. People have questions they don’t understand – why I didn’t leave sooner and why I loved him. There are so many complexities involved that it usually takes an expert to get people to understand.
Statistics show intimate partner abuse affects 1 in 3 women nationwide. The CDC stated in July 2017 that women are being killed, not by strangers, but by their husbands and boyfriends. This has become a nationwide epidemic.
Somehow my case garnered national support. There were over 200k signatures on my change.org petition. People donated thousands of dollars to help me. And I had a great attorney that negotiated a plea deal, which spared me from spending several years behind bars – unlike the many women in prison for domestic violence that I left behind.
I want to tell you a little about me. My name is Tina, and I am a survivor of intimate partner violence. My life did not start that way. By all accounts, I had a good upbringing. My dad was head of the household and the authority figure.
I am very artistic and creative. I love to draw, paint, do ceramics, make jewelry and generally create anything crafty. I love music of all kinds. Classical music is the music of choice when I draw with Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach as my favorites.
I like to read, write and spend time outdoors in my free time. I love history and find going to historical sights fascinating. I have a ten-year-old son, Phillip, who is my whole world. I had him late in life, and he is indeed a blessing to me. He is non-verbal and on the autism spectrum. One day I know, he will talk. I feel it and so many things when it comes to him.
I love animals and had to give up my four-year-old Shih Tzu dog, Mickey, to a family member when I went to prison. So, after serving 20 months behind bars, I was more than ready to have an animal when I was released on November 17, 2020. Now I have three cats who are named after historical figures, George, Franklin, and Eleanor.
By today’s standards, I lead a relatively “normal” life.
But that is only how it looked on the outside, looking in.
To be continued.
Note: some names have been changed for privacy.
The goal of this campaign is to convince our legislators in the state of Michigan to change People v Christel to model the California law in order to bring #Justice4Women.