Midstate Family Uses Tragedy To Address Domestic Violence
COLUMBIA, Tenn.- A Midstate family is using the anniversary of their
daughter's death to raise awareness about domestic violence.
"One of these days, I'll see her again, and that's how I get through it
each day," Tonya Thompson's mother Teresa Thompson said.
It's been one year since Tonya Thompson's death, but sometimes it feels like
"Gone but not forgotten," Tonya's niece wrote on a card she tied
to a purple balloon. "We love you Tonya."
Thompson was found shot to death in her home. Police charged her boyfriend,
John Fleming, IV with her murder.
"I've been there when police officers have just begged Tonya to just
come with them," father Kenneth Thompson recalled. "And time and time
again they think they got to go back to the situation because they're getting
battered down so much that they don't think they can do it on their own."
Since Tonya's death her parents have been speaking up on her behalf.
"Just as long as her death wasn't in vain," Teresa said.
"Tanya was a helper, she helped people all of the time."
The Thompson's hope no other parents will ever have to bury their child for
the same reason.
"It's really easy for us to sit in our homes and not realize that
there's something going on down the road or right next door, or to pretend like
it's not happening," Angie Slack, Executive Director of domestic violence advocacy
agency the Hope House said.
Slack advises people to believe victims when they say they've been abused
and not to minimize it.
"If we can get the message off to anybody who might be involved in
domestic violence that there's a way out," Kenneth Thompson said.
"There is people to turn to."
The murder trial will begin on September 24th. The Thompson's are asking
their supporters to wear purple, in hopes of showing the judge that they're
taking a stand against domestic violence.