April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This time is usually used to spread awareness about sexual assault and how to prevent sexual violence. This may seem like any other month to some, but after watching the recent Tina documentary on HBO it holds more weight for me. The Tina documentary detailed the rise of Tina Turner and her epic career. Behind her powerful voice, the glitz and glam and rhythmic moves, there was a woman who was suffering in silence.
We saw the great concerts and chart topping hits. We saw the smiling faces in the throwback pictures. But the documentary sheds more light beyond the major motion picture of What’s Love Got To Do With It. From the documentary, we see a woman who viewed her early music career as torture behind the scenes.
Her talent was overshadowed by severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse that shattered her overall well-being.
Despite being a beautiful force of nature that entertained millions, she was suffering. Even after leaving her ex-husband she still suffered from constantly being questioned about her earlier life, abuse and more in the media. She couldn’t seem to get away from her abuser’s shadow. Despite her assault, these few things were apparent to me after watching the documentary.
Faith: Tina discovered a higher sense of faith after being introduced to it from a friend. That sense of faith gave her power. The documentary shared points in time where she began sticking up for herself with her abuser. She began to gain more confidence almost instantly. Her faith gave her a sense of strength that allowed her to take her life back.
Team: Her strong connections with others offered a team atmosphere. Once she went solo she had to start over. She found solace in rebuilding her life with new management, band members, songwriters and more. Her new team members were crucial in her overcoming her fears as she climbed the ladder of success. It was apparent that a strong team can be a positive force for any individual as they heal.
Creativity: Tina used her creativity as an outlet to keep her mind off of her abusive years. Her creativity helped her discover her individuality, not only as a grown woman, but as a survivor. Her singing, performing and writing gave way to the ultimate comeback. With her abuser, she was not allowed to fully dive into her creative nature, but as a solo artist she took control of her life.
Resilience: The documentary illustrated the many deficits in the media industry. While she was attempting to move on, various media outlets continued to inquire about her abuser during her interviews. Those factors almost interrupted her healing. However, she took control of the narrative and got in front of her past by penning a book and supporting her biopic motion picture. Although they were painful to watch, Tina used it as a stepping stone to push forward to create her new persona.
Tina Turner has proven that there is true healing behind her name. She kept her name and didn’t allow her abuser to have what she worked hard to achieve. Healing is an ongoing process, and Tina is continuing to regain her power and control with each new day.
If you or someone you know if suffering from sexual assault please reach out to RAINN.