Friday, July 11, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 6 comments

Domestic Violence: Will you ignore the next victim?

Yes, We Rise| Domestic Violence: Will you ignore the next victim? Bianca Tanner
Bianca Tanner, via

Beat Me? No.

It seems that most of the country, or Facebook at least, has been consumed with the death of Bianca Tanner.

Bianca Tanner was an elementary school teacher in Greensboro, NC. She went missing in early June. Initially, her boyfriend was not a person of interest – until the authorities realized he and his friends were lying. Then they stopped cooperating. Then the boyfriend she recently moved to Charlotte to be with, went missing.

Something was terribly wrong.

Many of us, especially the BGLO community, were upset that he was caught and photographed in a Kappa shirt (but that’s another story). When I learned of this, I immediately wondered who was in her circle and how her sister circle helped or ignored her.

At first, I was excited ‘we’ were being featured widely in a missing person story. That rarely happens. Then it hit me, she probably won’t come home – alive.

As the weeks went by and the story unfolded, I knew. A nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach grew... forcing it to churn, I knew. Once I heard of his past transgressions, of the women he beat and abused previously – I knew. Maybe I knew because she reminded me of a friend, an aunt, someone I knew in a past life.

We have watched “The Burning Bed”... saw Gina get beat up on “A Different World” and have seen various other shows which easily solve the domestic violence problem in 20 minutes.  I’d venture to say we all know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence. In each situation, what do we do?

Are we the type to turn our head, pass judgment, or help? 

Help comes with a cost. 

Often the victim will lash out at you – out of embarrassment; hurt and pain. Usually they are not able to emotionally leave, let alone physically leave. I have two dear friends and an aunt I supported through their ordeals. In each case, there was a friend or family member who was callous, hurtful and judgmental. Instead of being helpful, they asked, “Who let’s a man treat them like that?” And continued with comments like, “She must like it if she stays.”

What do you do in these situations?

When I watched my friends endure, one would call me at all times of the day/night/afternoon...usually after her then-boyfriend abused her. She had so many friends, I wondered why she always called me. Once she explained, “I have called others, they told me they wouldn’t get involved.” I was confused, hurt.

With that friend, I openly talked about plans of leaving, getting help and even stood with her when she was ready. The system is not kind to women or people who have been battered. When we sought to get a gun license, it would take more than 30 days. When asked about a restraining order, it would take a court date AND 45 days to implement. The officer noted, ‘It’s a backlog in the courts, so your date wont come until Spring.” It was January.

Abuse is more about the insecurity of the abuser. Usually they are insecure and seeking power and control. Because the person they are with is strong, willful, beautiful – they feel they need to ‘break’ that spirit and dominate. It is a sickness. Rarely do anger management programs help. In helping, it is best to know the victim needs to leave.

All of this to say... when someone is hurt and is finally brave enough to ask for your help – what are you going to do? Are you going to gossip about him/her or really listen and then provide avenues to help?

I deeply wish I knew Bianca. In spite of her being an educator and graduating from my beloved NCAT, our paths did not cross. She seems to have been a beautiful spirit gone too soon.

Domestic violence is real – it hurts. Please help. Please.

While this will post on Friday, people should know the Pan-Hellenic Council is hosting a Domestic Violence Rally that will be held Wednesday, July 9th at the Little Rock Cultural Center on North McDowell Street at 7pm in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Tanner still has a FB page and presence. Please seek her name in the info section and gather more details/dates/times.

Links for more information on this story:
Greek council holds Bianca Tanner domestic violence vigil
Charlotte Police Charge Bianca Tanner’s Boyfriend With Murder After Her Body Discovered in Woods
Bianca Tanner Memorial Dedication on Facebook

Think about it.

Free as I wanna be... 
Goal D. Locs


  1. This is a great post and a lot of food for thought. Who we are in moments of crisis, is really who we are. I usually think of domestic violence in terms of trying not to get personally caught up. But I do have to remember that sometimes my role may be to offer assistance, a helpful word, some resource information... Thank you for this.

  2. Patricia Charli RoseJuly 11, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I have lived through domestic violence in my family and it is often overlooked by family and friends. I encourage all women to get out at the first sight of trouble and to move on and "rise".

  3. Yesterday someone made a remark that because we were told to never air our dirty laundry, people don't seek the help or treatment they need. Love should never hurt like this. I also followed this story, with a bad gut feeling. This was an excellent post.

  4. I myself was in a violent situation for a few years. It was not physical. He was just really possessive. Followed me, called me at work all day, rented an apartment across the street from me, blocked my car in so I couldn't leave, locked me in my OWN apartment (needed a key to get in/out). Situation was crazy. I made a plan. One day when he went to work, I moved. Haven't seen him since....

    Now as for this young lady. My heart aches for her child. I too followed this story, I knew in my heart she was dead. This is a fantastic post.

  5. Marcus SmallwoodJuly 13, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Great article. It's frustrating when you repeatedly stick your neck out to help people and consistently see them return to the situation. I always encourage friends to leave the situation. I would be dishonest to say i am going to always engage in the future but maybe i will give it a stronger consideration in the future because you wrote this.

  6. She taught in the same school system I teach in Guilford County Schools. I did not know her personally, but she seemed to be a great teacher and was pursuing her doctorate degree. I had a feeling when her family held a vigil at A&T and they prayed to God to bring her back that she would be found the next day. God did bring her back but not in the way her family wanted. She is free from pain and resting in The Father's Arms. I hope by this tragedy that friends, family help the best they can; but in the end the person must make that choice.