Tina Turner’s story is one of resilience and strength. “You asked me if I ever stood up for anything. Yeah, I stood up for my life,” she told “Vanity Fair” in 1993.

The Queen of Rock’n’Roll passed away at 83 last Wednesday after a long illness that she battled with her characteristic tenacity.

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“You just keep going,” she used to say. “You just keep going.”

And she did just that.

Considered one of the greatest singers of all time, Tina Turner is known for many things — from her incredible legs to the urban legend that it was she who taught Mick Jagger to dance.

However, for women worldwide, Tina Turner was an inspiration in the fight against domestic violence.

Tina Turner’s life was a story of suffering

Tina Turner was born in 1939 in Brownsville, Tennessee, into a cotton and strawberry pickers family. Her first contact with domestic violence was at home. When Turner was 11 years old, her mother, Zelma, left the family, fleeing her abusive relationship with her husband.

Tina stayed with her grandmother, and her father remarried. In her autobiography, Tina claimed that her parents never loved her, and she watched as her stepmother continued to suffer abuse from her father.

After her grandmother’s death, Turner moved to St. Louis to live with her mother. At 16, she met Ike Turner, who was performing with his band Kings of Rhythm at the Manhattan Club in East St. Louis. In 1957, the young Tina became a featured vocalist in the band, thanks to her natural talent and Ike’s singing lessons.

From love to violence, her story with Ike Turner

Tina became pregnant by the band’s saxophonist, Raymond Hill, who abandoned her before the birth of their first son, Craig, in August 1958.

Meanwhile, her friendship with Ike grew, and Turner would describe him as a “brother from another life.” Actually, it was he who renamed her, changing her birth name, Anna Mae Bullock, into Tina.

Their affair began in 1960 and, with it, the violence.

When Tina tried to leave him the first time, Ike responded by hitting her over the head with a wooden shoe stretcher. Although her first feeling was fear, Tina always claimed she decided to stay with Ike because she “really loved him.”

The couple welcomed their first child in 1960, moved to Los Angeles two years later, and married in Tijuana. On their wedding night, Ike forced Tina to attend a sex show at a brothel.

Years later, in interviews, Tina Turner would say that Ike threw scalding coffee on her and that she was abused with a coat hanger.

“I felt obligated to stay there, and I was afraid,” she told journalist Carl Arrington. “I didn’t want to hurt him, and after he beat me up… I was sitting there all bruised and torn, and all of a sudden, I’m feeling sorry for him.”

“Maybe I was brainwashed.”

The abuse continued to such an extent that Tina attempted suicide in 1968 with an overdose of Valium.

“It was my relationship with Ike that made me most unhappy,” she wrote in her autobiography. “At first, I had really been in love with him. Look what he’d done for me. But he was totally unpredictable.”

Tina Turner’s story was the same for millions of women

By 1966, Tina and Ike had caught the attention of the iconic Phil Spector, who would lead the duo to stardom with the single “River Deep – Mountain High.” After touring the U.K. with the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner became the first female singer and woman of color to appear on the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine.

Success was sudden and overwhelming, and the couple began making money for the first time.

However, when Tina decided to abruptly leave Ike after a fight in 1976, the singer was left with nothing.

Turner fled with only 36 cents and a Mobil credit card in her pocket. She filed for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, but the sentencing went against her.

“I was living a life of death. I didn’t exist,” she said. “But I survived it. And when I walked out, I walked. And I didn’t look back.”

Turner had to assume responsibility for the missed concert dates and an IRS lien. Although she kept the copyrights to the songs she had written, Ike kept the publishing rights.

Turner gave Ike her share of the recording studio, publishing houses, real estate, and several cars.

For almost two years, Tina Turner had to survive on food stamps and singing in small clubs to pay her debts.

It was her resilience and strength that made her an icon

No one knew exactly what had happened between Tina and Ike until 1981 when she decided on an interview to tell her story for the first time.

“In 1981, we were just learning about the extent of domestic violence in homes,” Dr. Lenore E. Walker, director of the Domestic Violence Institute, told the BBC. “It was often thought to be only poor women without resources who were abused.

“When Tina Turner spoke out about her life, it brought awareness to the fact that domestic violence was everywhere.”

And her story inspired millions of women around the world.

“Nobody talked about sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic abuse – abuse, period,” Oprah Winfrey, also a survivor of domestic abuse, said in TJ Martin’s 2021 documentary, “Tina.”

“Our generation is the generation that started to break the silence,” she added.

Tina Turner’s courage also inspired other women

After Tina Turner’s death, many women paid tribute to the singer’s talent and courage.

For singer Mariah Carey, Tina Turner was an inspiration.

Carey, who is of Venezuelan descent, married music producer Tommy Mottola when she was only 23, and he was 43. In her memoir, Carey says Mottola was controlling.

During the marriage, Carey says she kept a suitcase under the bed in case she needed to escape.

Mariah said: “It felt like he was cutting off my circulation, keeping me from my friends and what little ‘family’ I had.”

Following Turner’s death, Carey recalled the resilience of who was her inspiration.

“To me, she will always be a survivor and an inspiration to women everywhere,” Mariah Carey wrote on Twitter. “Her music will continue to inspire generations to come.”

Similarly, for Christina Aguilera, who recently spoke about her experience with domestic abuse, Tina Turner’s story is inspiring.

“Her powerful voice and strength will forever be etched in our hearts and memories,” Aguilera wrote on Twitter.

For Latinas worldwide, this is an all-too-common story

Before Shakira, Tina Turner was the first to prove that “las mujeres no lloran; las mujeres facturan.” After all, before the 1970s, few women had the courage to pick up their things and leave.

Tina Turner opened the doors for women of color to have the courage to say, “Enough is enough.”

For Susanne Ramirez de Arellano, journalist and former news director at Univision Puerto Rico, Tina Turner was the woman who helped her come to terms with her own experience with domestic violence.

“She left with nothing, and so did I,” Ramírez de Arellano told mitú. “I waited for my husband to go to sleep and went out in shorts, barefoot, and with my daughter in my arms.”

The journalist got into a cab and swore no one would lay a finger on her daughter.

“It’s hard to admit that you’ve been a victim of domestic violence, more so when you’re a cojonuda. But Tina said it and said it without shame or fear. She said it without feeling that it made her less of a woman,” added Ramirez de Arellano.

In Latin America, about 4,000 women die at the hands of domestic violence each year, according to data from the Gender Equality Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the United States, about 1 in 3 Latinas (34.4%) will experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime, and 1 in 12 Latinas (8.6%) has experienced IPV in the previous 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The number of Latinas who decide to grab a pair of shoes and run away from violence like Tina Turner and Susanne Ramirez de Arellano did is still very low.

But as Turner famously sang, “Till the moment is right, (we) won’t give up the fight.”