The Love, Actually star revealed

Martine McCutcheon has opened up about her childhood experiences in an abusive home on a recent edition of Loose Women.

The former EastEnders star revealed that she had to call the police at the tender age of four to report the actions of her father – and that it was difficult for her mother, Jenny Tomlin, to leave.

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Wednesday’s edition of the panel show saw the team discussing Mel B‘s recent abuse allegations against husband Stephen Belafonte; the Spice Girls star was granted primary custody of their five-year-old daughter, Madison, after claiming that he physically and emotionally abused her, and that she attempted suicide in a bid to escape. (Stephen has denied her claims.)

Guest Martine was able to offer an upsetting first-hand account of life in a hostile home as a child.

‘My mum [Jenny Tomlin] was a career woman, very educated, and even though she made the choice to get away from my dad, it took years, it took nine years,’ she admitted.

‘We had panic buttons and everything and we would move all around the country and he would find us.

‘I would call the police when I was four years old and they would keep me on the phone while what was going on was going on downstairs.

‘And guess what, by the time the police arrive it “hadn’t happened”, so they couldn’t convict him of anything.’

Mel B’s current situation inspired an emotional discussion (Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Martine, 40, went on to give her opinion of children being used as a weapon.

‘Unfortunately, sometimes these men do use children as a weapon as well. They know where it’s going to hurt the most. He knew it was going to hurt my mum the most.

‘She was really strong, even once she decided to leave, it took her years and she paid the price for that. It’s a really scary decision to make, but women are dying of domestic abuse every week.’