Most of us remember the 2001 story of Texas native, Andrea Yates ,who drowned her five children in the bathtub. Such violent acts have always shocked the world. Now, nearly 11 years later another tragic story of family violence has occurred within the black community.
When A Mother’s Fed Up….
On Tuesday April 15th, approximately around 5 a.m., Tonya Thomas shot all four of her children at their Port St. John home.
Pebbles Johnson, only 17-years-old, was found dead in the front lawn of the home. Jaxs, Jaslyn and Joel Johnson, who ages range from 12 to 15, were found in the front entrance of the home. Thomas was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot in the family’s garage.
The morning of, three of the children ran to a near neighbor asking for help. Thomas calmly called them back to the house and they obediently returned. The neighbor then called 911 after realizing the severity of the situation.
Although no motive has yet been discovered, neighbors say that Thomas was experiencing issues with her 15-year-old son Jaxs because there were times where he would punch his mom.
Police reported that they were called in numerous times because of domestic violence. In April, child welfare visited the Thomas’s home to investigate inadequate supervision.
Darcel Brown, the uncle of the children, stated how Thomas and his brother Joe Johnson had broken up over a year ago. Thomas was left as a single mother, raising the children alone.
Thomas’s friend, who has yet been identified, informed police that he had received a text from her earlier that she wanted to be cremated with her children. Unfortunately, he didn’t read the text until later that morning.
Troubled Black Homes
You know that saying, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out” ?? Well, that quote seems to manifest itself with cases like these.
Many assumptions can be made as to why a mother would want to murder her children. Maybe her actions sprang out of depression, selfishness, desperateness or even mental illness. Whatever the case may be, we have to understand that something in the immediate home may have played a factor in this irrational decision.
Out of 10,081 African American Families, 30.4 percent are single mothers raising children under the age of 18. Thomas obviously fell under this category.
Nearly half of young black children living with their mom fall under the poverty line. This strain opens up doors to animosity in the home and shockingly can lead to violence.
Factors that can cause such cases are:
- A broken parental home
- Problems with authority/control
- Financial issues
- A lack of communication/love/compassion
- Alcohol or Drugs
Scream Out for Help!!!
Many families from all walks of life can experience violence within the home. It is a myth that poor families in an urban setting only experience domestic violence. It can occur anywhere at anytime.
Therefore, if you’re that mother who feels that violence is the only way out, PLEASE seek help first! See what other options are out there:
1) Ask for friendly guidance from a church member, outside family member or friend. Talk to someone close to you because holding in all that anger can lead to impulsive decision making.
2) Seek professional help from a crisis and intervention center. Ask for a referral to a counselor who can talk you and your family through your issues at home.
3) Remove yourself from the situation temporarily or permanently. For mothers, it’s harder to abandon your children, so find a way to leave for a while so that you can get your thoughts together. If giving your children to social service is the last option, then do it because it’s better to have “away” children than dead children.
4) Call for assistance from a military school or anger management class. If your child(ren) is that uncontrollable then send them off and on their way for a wake up call. If you feel that you’re the problem, then admit yourself into an anger management class where you can improve on handling your emotions.
There’s always a way out!