Thasia Anne was a finalist for the last Erie County Poet Laureate search. She is a lifetime Erie, Pennsylvania girl. She has facilitated numerous poetry workshops and women inspired events.
Her most heartfelt accomplishment is WOW or Women of Word with a few Man Made Words
Thasia Anne organized and performed in readings with multiple artists and poets at Artlore Studio. She has four poems about Lena Logvina’s decorated Suffragettes mannequins.
She also organized female poets for a poetry reading for the Artlore show on Healing.
Thasia Anne spent hours organizing and bringing poets to the Albion Fair for poetry readings for six years. It is an attempt to bring culture to a rural area. For the past five years, she has also been one of the poetry judges for the fair entries.
As a survivor of domestic violence Thasia Anne spends hours each week bringing awareness about the subject. Through talks, poetry, poetry workshops helping survivors release their emotions.
She has inspired to go get her social work degree graduation at 60 years old. She is retired with her beloved husband Bear. She sounds retired!
You can check her out at thasiaanne.com Or Thasia Anne Lunger on Facebook.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS
Did you know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month? Did you know it happens every month, every week, and every day?
Most people have an idea of what they believe domestic violence is or who is involved. I want to share some information that may help to expand your knowledge. Knowledge is power, and you may be armed to help someone you know or love to remove themselves safely from the struggle.
Every Twelve seconds in the United States, a woman is beaten by her husband, boyfriend, or lover. And while you read that, another woman was beaten.
1 in 3 women and 1-5 men have been domestic abuse victims.
It affects women, men, and children in every walk of life. It involves the rich and poor, educated and uneducated, every race, every ethnicity, religion, and even political view. Abuse can happen from male to female, female to male, female to female, and male to male. No one is too smart, pretty, or cool to be victimized.
I came to be somewhat of an expert on the subject through the unfortunate circumstances of being a survivor. I met him as a fifteen-year-old who grew up through very trying times. My mother became disabled when I was turning six, and my father, her husband, left in the dark like a burglar. At that time in America, there was no welfare, food stamps, or housing vouchers. Even though my mother had been told she couldn’t work, she worked her fingers to the bone.
By age seven, I was familiar with starting dinner, doing some laundry, running the vacuum, and other more adult-type chores, out of necessity. My mother took us to the Library and Museum regularly. She said, “We may be poor, but we will be educated.”
The summer mom became disabled, my brother and I were shuffled around to relatives while she went to rehabilitation. We were cautioned that we needed to behave and be really good and quiet. We were repeatedly told to be no trouble to anyone. As an adult looking back, I realized no one meant any harm, but I was literally trained to be quiet, be good, and never talk back. Prime victim material.
My mother was amazing and very determined; she learned to do most things someone did with two hands, even faster with one. Years after my father sped away with another man’s wife and children in the car; my mother had become strong, confident, and beautiful. While volunteering at a Civil Defense meeting and serving coffee, she met a young, charismatic civil servant named Jim. They dated for years and couldn’t get married until my father had been missing seven years. Even a private detective couldn’t find him. They were forced to have him declared dead and were finally able to get married.
I had just turned fifteen. I was very mature for my age in so many ways. Yet mentally, I was still a confused kid. I really liked Jim. But they declared my father dead! What if he suddenly wanted to come home? They were obviously, immature kid thoughts.
Along came my answer to a question I had not even asked. I knew his sister, She was great and he came from a good family. The only problem was; that I was fifteen and he was twenty-two. He was twenty-two, fresh out of the military, and already divorced once. (Red Flag)
I was still a high school fifteen-year-old. I was there; I was half of the equation, but he was twenty-two and got me pregnant.
To make a long story short, he told my parents if they didn’t sign to let me get married, he would take me to a Southern State where I didn’t need a signature. (Red Flag)
The abuse started during the pregnancy. First, just swinging me by my hair into the wall. (Do you see the word JUST? Red Flag)
He kept moving me farther from my parents. We were finally on ten acres, forty miles, and a long-distance phone call away. (Red Flag)
The violence and neglect escalated after our second son was born.
At the ten-year mark, I fled with my sons right after Christmas. He was drinking and betting away grocery and gas bill money, and we had no heat.
He went to counseling, stopped drinking, and sent lots of flowers. After three months, the boys and I went back. It was not long before he was drinking secretly. (But I could tell and smell that Red Flag)
Soon after that, he was drinking, openly screaming, “what are you gonna do about it?” (Danger Zone Red Flag)
There was an incident in the early morning where I could still smell the alcohol on his breath. He was driving me to work and seemed very angry; he stopped the car in the middle of the highway, jumped out with a large knife, and slashed both back tires. I took off running and actually outran him. I truly felt as if Angels were scooping me along.
When he realized he couldn’t catch me, he stopped and yelled, “Aren’t you going to help me change the tires?” I continued to run for my life.
I locked him out of the house, and he spent the night standing on the outside window ledge staring in our windows at me.
He had no explanation for what he had done and never apologized. He pleaded, “Just Let me back in.” Another several-month separation ensued.
Stupidly, I gave him one more chance.
The last night in his home, he was drunk and angry that he had gambled our grocery money away on a pool game and lost. I went into the bathroom to take a bath, thinking he would go pass out. He did not. Our sons were asleep in their room. He kicked the bathroom door off its hinges onto me in the tub. Screamed, “What are you doing”? I replied, “taking a bath.” He glared for several moments and then headed for our bedroom. I hoped he would go pass out. Instead, he retrieved his pistol and started stomping around the house waving it in the air. He stopped at our son’s bedroom doorway; I was naked and fearful in the tub. I thought this was it, he would kill us all, and then suddenly, he went downstairs. I sat immobile in the water even after it was cold.
Down in the basement, he mumbled angrily. Was he going to kill himself? Would the boys blame me? Silently shivering, I waited until finally, I could hear his snoring as he passed out. Eventually, I climbed out of the tub and into the closet till morning.
I got the boys and left for good.
I tell this story for awareness. The Red Flags, had I known or understood them, could have saved me from many years of trials and tribulations. If I had not been created into someone who sat silent, I might have left the first time. I was trained to take whatever came my way. I was used to having a great deal of unhappiness.
I hope to make you aware that there IS help available—nationwide help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
800-799-7233, or you can text START 88788
They will guide you to resources in your area.
I finally escaped in 1989 after seventeen years of perilous life-threatening abuse. It has been my honor advocating for women and bringing awareness into schools K-12, and speaking at events all over my local community since 1990. I went to Edinboro University in 2011 and graduated in 2016 at age 60 with my Social Work Degree. I will never stop bringing awareness to this subject.
It was my 17-year-old son who said that my poems and stories could help other women. After a few phone calls, I met with the women’s shelter. First, I took their group counseling, and then I led their group counseling. That morphed into starting an education program using my story and the warning sign list I created. I continually tweaked it for age appropriateness and went from K- to College.
I have two poetry collections to help survivors understand they are NOT alone. Love & Licorice Whips was self-published and given freely at the shelter to help others. Subtle Shade of Bruise was published through Alien Buddha Press.
I have been honored to recently be included in two prestigious anthologies, Women of Courage, published by Profession Woman Network, and 20 Lives Ignited How 20 women over 60 Are Creating Success on Their Own Terms, published by Auroracorialis Publishing. Now available on Amazon, you can purchase either e-version or paperback.
My hope is to help you realize that a great life is just ahead, no matter how long or how abusive someone was to you. One breath at a time, one step at a time, one counselor at a time, you can reclaim your best life.
For more information on Thasia Anne, her poetry, workshops, or books for sale, please go to
thasiaanne.com or on Facebook Thasia Anne Poetess/Author
WOW Women of Word with a few Man Made Words
Poetry Prose and Personalities a CAM Erie and Poetrees Production
WARNING SIGNS LIST
Domestic Abuse occurs in four ways;
Man toward woman, man to man, woman to man, and woman to woman.
To make this more understandable, I will use they; as the abuser and you; as the victim.
If they tell you not to belong to the yearbook committee, the football team, the Free the whale’s group, or any other activity you enjoy because it will take time away from them
If they tell you what to or what not to wear, “that shirt makes your eyes sparkle, and that should be for me.”
If they drive dangerously and you ask them to slow down, they won’t.
If they threaten your kids, parents, pets, or prized possessions, or I will tell your boss something bad about you.
If they call you twenty times a day to say, “I love you, where are you?”
If they show up at your school/work place when they should be at work (To see how you are doing)
If you live together and they move you way far from your family or friends.
If you live together and they make sure there is only one car and no phone for you to use
Do they grab you, pull you, push you, spit on you, slap you, scratch you, or any other form of aggression like that? That is not love.
Are they jealous of every person you talk with?
Are they rushing you into commitment? Start talking about marriage after weeks? You do not know each other yet. They rush you because they can only pretend to be nice for so long.
There are more or other forms of these issues. Does it feel mean-spirited to you? Does it leave you feeling loved? Would you do that to someone you loved?
If you answered yes to three or more things on that list, then things are sliding in the direction toward abuse. If you are in school, you can go speak with a guidance counselor.
If you are an adult in the Erie, Pennsylvania area, then SafeNet shelter can counsel you for free. SafeNet Hot Line; 814-454-8161
If you are anywhere else in the United States, then please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline; 1-800-799-7233 24 hours, 7 days a week
UK – 0808 2000 247
Australia – +61 7 4953 1788
Canada – +1 604-585-6688