Mother's death by domestic violence becomes call to action

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One in four women is abused by their partner in Shelby County.

That disturbing statistic was emphasized as loved ones and advocates came together to remember a mother who died as a result of domestic violence.

The event as a whole was aimed at all domestic violence victims with a simple message: not one more.

Candles shone at United Baptist Church on Saturday night, honoring the light Tasha Thomas brought to all she knew.

Three years ago Saturday, that light went out too soon.

Her estranged husband Charles Thomas shot and killed the mother of two in the parking lot of the church right next to the Little Scholars Learning Center on East Raines Road where Thomas taught.

He then barricaded himself inside his home before eventually taking his life.

"Because she left me with two beautiful angels of hers, because of them I can cope," said Thomas' mother Dina Jones.

Many who came dressed in her favorite color purple. Her family was joined by domestic violence survivors and those fighting against it

"If any woman or man got to hit, hit you, or physically or mentally abuse you, it's not worth it," Jones said.

Sadly, domestic violence in Memphis and Shelby County is nothing new.

"Domestic violence is an epidemic," said Mia Harvey.

Harvey and her organization Family Safety Center, a domestic abuse treatment facility in Memphis, is trying to change those statistics.

Harvey said the first step is to understand the red flags.

"Abusers are usually controlling," Harvey said. "If they choose to harm children or animals. A lot of the time the place blame on others… not really being accountable."

Harvey hopes those in abusive relationships can recognize the signs so they can get out of them before it's too late.

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