Outside her parent’s home

Damon Thomas and Tonya Thomas were divorcing. And Tonya Thomas had a restraining order against Damon. The divorce was to be final on July 7.

Tonya Thomas’s parents found her body outside their home about 3 am Friday morning.

Damon Thomas was originally arrested for violating the domestic violence injunction, but has now been charged with first degree murder.

http://www.wesh.com/news/9458779/detail.html

Not many details are given.

If you are in a relationship, and have had to file for a protection order, that is not enough. You also need to seek a place of safety. Most usually the accused offender will get out on bond while awaiting to go to trial on any charges. Besides the original problems, the offender may be angry about the legal problems. If he/she is wanting to get the relationship back together, they may become more desperate.

If you have to file for protection order, that is not enough. It is only one tool. You also have to make and enact a safety plan. First you need to go to a place of safety. And a family member’s, close friend or neighbor’s may not be enough. You may need to go somewhere that he/she will not think to look for you. You may need to move to a new address, go to a shelter for domestic violence victims, or even leave town.

Some indications that you may need to do this is the level of violence you have experienced. Were threats to kill you ever made? Was a weapon ever involved? Did you have to or should you have gone to the hospital? Were you ever choked? Is the accused offender acting erratically or out of control? These are only some of the signs that you need to seek out a place of safety.

Keep a cell phone with you at all times. Even a cell phone with the sevice turned off can be used to call 911. (If you have an old cell phone that you don’t use, most domestic violence shelters will accept them, if you wish to donate). Call 911 if you see the offender- do not wait to see what they want. By coming close to you, the accused is in violation of that protection order. If the accused makes contact with you in any way, by phone, letter or text- make sure you let the prosecutor know of that. Remember- you are not getting them in trouble, their actions are getting them in trouble.

For more information about the safety plan, look to the links on the left under domestic violence.

And make contact with your local domestic violence agency. They will work with people who are any where in the process if they are being abused. So you if are in a domestic violence relationship, and not ready to leave, are considering leaving, or have left- their assistance can be invaluable. They work with people, whether they are in the shelter or not.

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4 Comments

  1. Sister of Tonya Thomas said,

    September 6, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    On August 30, 2007 Damon Thomas was found guilty of the 1st degree murder of his wife Tonya, as well as 2 counts of violating the domestic violence injunctione she had in place against him. According to Florida law, he was sentenced to natural life in prison, plus two years for the injunction violations. Justice has been served!

  2. September 6, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Sister of Tonya Thomas, thank you so much for the update. I know your lives have changed but I hope you and your family can get on with your lives in some peace now.

  3. Sister of Tonya Thomas said,

    September 12, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Homesweethome,

    Thank you sincerely for featuring my sister’s story and applying it to advise other women in similarl situations. You are the only such site I have found that dedicated space to Tonya’s story. Thank you for the well wishes. Peace is our focus now, and we hope that others can learn from our story to avoid such a tragic outcome.

    We, Tonya’s family, applaud your efforts.

  4. yolanda moore said,

    May 24, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Tonya was my best friend. She had so much to look forward to; she was a strong independent women and we both know the stupid ass family that we had embark ourselves into. We did what we had to do to give one another courage and strenght that was Tonya. I am trying to start a shelter within the next three months to honor Tonya and her baby Jordan. To her family i know that she is protecting you guys It been a while since she has been gone but It still hurts me on the inside. I cant go to her grave because it hurt so bad the last time I went it was so hurting and hard to leave because i knew i was leaving my best friend behind. Yolanda Moore


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