Tina served in the Royal Navy for seven years and was stationed in the UK, Naples and the Falkland Islands. Towards the end of Tina’s time in the Navy, she married a sailor. Tina found there was a lot of strain on their relationship during the early years because they were based in two different countries. Sadly, Tina’s marriage broke down and she quickly left the relationship.
Having always loved Italy, Tina moved back and had a successful career for many years, leading executive training courses in companies and also working as an interpreter. After seven years of living in Italy, Tina returned to the UK as she needed to study further in order to continue her career.
Tina met a new partner and became pregnant with her daughter but the excitement of starting a new family with her new partner was short lived. Her partner became abusive towards Tina and she took on a lot of his debt and lost her savings and house as a result. As Tina’s home situation escalated, she swiftly realised she needed to escape with her four-year-old daughter. She went into hiding with the help of a domestic violence charity.
Tina applied to her Local Authority for help with housing in January 2011. They did not ask any questions about whether she had been in the Armed Forces, nor did they ask about her ex-husband who was also in the Armed Forces. At the time, she and her daughter were staying in a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. She tried for years to be housed by the Local Authority, and reapplied later on when they introduced a points system. At this point there was still no question about whether you were a Veteran, only one that asked if you were currently serving in the Armed Forces.
Eventually a Naval contact put her in touch with the Veterans’ housing charity Stoll, who were able to offer Tina a two bed flat immediately for her and her daughter. If Tina had been identified as a Veteran and directed to the support available for Veterans earlier on, she could have been housed and helped a lot sooner.