YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — A Trumbull County widow and her teenage daughter are on a mission to help as many abused women as possible.
Dr. Tamika Anderson — an example, herself, of how to escape from a terrible relationship and survive — and her daughter Tanise, a junior at Lakeview High School, reach out and speak to women all over the country with this message: You can get out of an abusive relationship, survive and prosper.
For this, the two women are this week’s Hometown Heroes.
“I felt that if it was this hard for me to escape and stay gone. What’s it like for a woman who didn’t have an education or resources or who had multiple children?” Tamika said. “And so I felt like a wanted to be a voice for the voiceless.
“So I help [women] find their voice, tell their story and take the stage. And it doesn’t necessarily mean a public stage, but taking the stage of your life — not allowing someone else to control you.”
Added Tanise, “I’m a student, but I help anyone. If anyone wants to come for advice or anything, if they’re having trouble, I’m totally open to that.”
Several years ago, Tamika, formerly of Bazetta Township, said she was involved in a 20-year abusive relationship with her husband before she separated. She said a final incident in which he held a knife to her throat influenced the change.
“A police officer took me to the side and said, ‘Look here, unless you make a change, the next time we come back to your home it’s going to be to take you out in a body bag,'” Tamika said.
So, she filed a restraining order and began her separation, often using Tanise as motivation.
“I kept my daughter in mind a lot of the time, knowing that I had to keep going,” Tamika said. “I finally got the courage to say, ‘OK, I need to go and file this restraining order or else I’m dead.'”
Her change led to her writing a book, titled “Speak Up and Get Out,” which was released in December 2015. Meanwhile, Tamika and Tanise have traveled all over the country speaking to women.
“It’s really inspired me to know that no matter what I go through, I can get through it because of what she has gone through,” Tanise said.
Next spring, the mother and daughter will go international, traveling to Nigeria to spread their message.