Heartbreaking: Tisha Campbell-Martin finally breaks silence about abuse in her marriage



Article By Toni Belle // Domestic Violence // EEW Magazine

50-year-old Tisha Campbell-Martin has a mega-watt smile. But according to her, for years, that smile was hiding an ugly reality: her husband was being physically and emotionally abusive.

Official court filings first obtained and made public by TMZ say the singer-actress obtained a restraining order against Duane Martin, alleging years of suffering at his hands.

Before now, the reason for the couple’s split after more than twenty years of marriage was unknown, in part, because she was too ashamed to tell the truth.

In her court filing, the “My Wife and Kids” star said, “The need [to] press criminal charges for his acts overshadows the embarrassment of making his crimes against me public through this report.”

Many women are just like Campbell-Martin. They hide the truth to save face, and they suffer in silence. By coming forward, she gives other abuse victims both the courage and permission to do the same.

Once named one of Ebony Magazine’s “Hottest Couples,” the Martins were believed to be a picture of happiness. But Campbell-Martin, who said her ex recently punched her in the chest with a closed fist, and also grabbed her by the arm in December, “to try to get me in the bedroom,” was living a lie.

The couple tied the knot August 1996

The couple tied the knot August 1996

She first filed for divorce in February 2018. Back then, she simply issued a vague statement obtained by EEW Magazine that said, “After 27 years of being together and two amazing children, it pains me to announce that I’ve filed for divorce. It’s an emotional time and I graciously ask for privacy for me, our children and the rest of our family.”

Even her divorce filing only cited “irreconcilable differences,” and nothing else. But there was so much more going on with the couple that wed in August 1996.

Campbell-Martin says the abuse started at the beginning of their union, and the reason she chose to speak up now after years of silence is because she “can no longer live in fear of retaliation.”

Speaking of fear, Criminologist Karen Heimer says, “Survivors may experience fear in situations where they were not fearful before, a sense of insecurity or the lack of safety. I think that sometimes we don’t fully appreciate the extent to which violence can affect people, even far into the future.”

Though Campbell-Martin has lots of healing left to do, coming forward is a huge first step on her journey back to wholeness.

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need help, you can safely and securely contact The Domestic Violence Hotline.