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BLACK WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

13 Dec

By Terry Loving

Psalm 12:8 “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.”

Psalm 11:5 “The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.”

“Black women who are the victims of domestic violence that results in murder rarely receive the national media coverage that white women who are murdered as a result of domestic violence do. To be fair, a lot of women are murdered whose local stories do not become national stories, but local stories about missing black women or victims of domestic violence rarely get elevated to national headlines. Do we have to be blond, pregnant, married or housewives to get coverage? We get coverage when it comes to disease, death, getting butt implants and being unable to find a man, but not when we are victims of domestic violence.”1

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THEY ROCKED THE HOUSE WITH VIOLENCE

The neighbors on the first floor were fighting last weekend – the pregnant woman was beaten yet again. Miss Lucy and her children are crying and hiding this weekend – her husband – the man on the second floor – is on a rampage. I am afraid, for it will soon be our turn to scream and hide – the neighbors on the third floor – for, our mother will be beaten as well. And this is how it was – often.

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One of the places I lived in North Philadelphia was a three-story row home – and the devil lived there too. All of the adults drank alcohol, and all of the women were beaten on a regular basis – black women – our mothers. To this day I could not tell you why they were beaten, or why the children had to endure such evil – it was just the way it was – black families and violence – a way of life. There was a code, spoken and threatened – “Keep your mouth shut.” And the others, “Kids should be seen and not heard.” “What goes in our house stays there.” If you broke the code, no matter how much you were suffering, you paid a price. The family code kept the children mute – the beatings kept the women silenced. They rocked the house with violence – in front of their children – and called themselves our “daddies.”

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Black women suffer higher incidences of domestic violence – and the situations are filled with various components stacked against black families. Many poor women cannot escape the violence due to poverty, and often times – unemployment and a lack of family support. Low paying jobs often force women to work two jobs should they finally escape the abuse. Unfortunately, this struggle will leave their children to fend for themselves most of the day. This is one of the reasons why young black children find trouble in the streets – they have no parents in the home to supervise and make sure they are on the right path. I am not faulting a woman having to work away from home, however, without family and friends for support – the escape from violence often introduces other negative factors.

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In my mother’s circle, mostly all of her friends were abusers, or the abused. The women sometimes fought back – and lost – but stayed with the men who would get drunk and beat them bloody. The women who were too afraid to fight back endured, and repeated the vicious cycle over and over again. You did not question adults “back in the day,” so I will never know why my mother stayed, especially since she is deceased. I wish I could ask her, for she had much support – and yet she stayed – time after time. She did not witness her own mother suffering this way, so I must conclude that she and her friends believed that this was the unfortunate plight of black women.

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My mother worked sometimes, and sometimes she was on welfare. Her friends either worked low paying jobs, or they were on welfare also. Most of them were uneducated, however, domestic violence is not isolated to poor neighborhoods, and not all poor women are abused. The men in their lives worked, or they were “entrepreneurs” of their own calling – owned and operated a “speak-easy” or other such ventures.

Our family did not attend church services – but the Bible was always opened to the 23rd Psalm – however, the Lord was not their Shepard. When the drinking – card parties commenced, the Bible was gently moved from the table to a more “respectable” place in the room. When my mother sold dinners that she cooked, even as a child I would serve the drunkards that came to our home. She would do this when she needed to make extra money – but we lived in constant poverty – often times we had no food to eat at all. We moved often due to evictions.

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I could write a book about this “lifestyle,” and that is exactly what violence in the black community has become. Often the code of silence muzzled the children by rape, sexual abuse, witnessing violence, child abuse and neglect. The children, who grew up watching the violence, often grew up to live what they learned – my brothers did. This wretched “lifestyle” has passed from generation to generation – with no end in sight. Just as sure as black folks learned to make a delicacy out of pig intestines (hog maws and chitterlings) – we learned how to dress up and play down violence in our homes.

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We played down the stink of the hog, and dressed him up to the point that this vile animal became a New Year’s delicacy – an animal that wallows in their own excrement. What our slave masters threw away, our people learned to clean up and make a meal for their families. We burn the hairs off the hoof of pig’s feet, pickle them and set them proudly on a counter in our neighborhood stores. Our mothers mixed those crunchy pig ears with black-eyed peas and rice – which we ate hungrily for we had no choice. Our culture is good at masking the vile, and presenting it as something tolerable. We disguise the stink of violence – claiming it to be a “family affair” – a code – a secret where disclosure is viewed as betrayal.

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Generation after generation the violence increases – for we as a people forgot that God was the center of our communities. It was God who brought us through slavery, and it is God who will lead us out of violence. Our children are angry – mothers are killing their offspring – and fathers are taking out their whole families. Is this a black plight only? No! However, Black women suffer more violence in the home, for we have learned to accept the stink, and keep silent. Anger is passed down to our children, and we are experiencing a new generation that is unafraid to die – prison is their second home three meals and a cot – no worries. Killing has become a badge of honor.

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anyiko.wordpress.com

The Black church leaders are corrupting the people of God – stealing in the name of the Lord. The Sunday pews are filled with black mothers looking for hope and help – and they are often met with indifference and spiritual abuse – masked as what “thus saith the Lord.” The violence in our homes is a choice, and a sin before God. There may be factors within our society that fuel anger and discontent such as racism, and unequal justice. Yet still, violence is a choice. We learned from slavery to hate and distrust one another as a people. But – we do not have to continue living this way.

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Our church leaders can do more for our communities – but will they? There is a reason why God will begin Judgment with “the household of God.” His anger will be intense because watered down – feel good sermons do not change hearts, and bring healing to hurting souls – both abusers and the abused. Prosperity preachers will experience the wrath of God for hording wealth that belongs to God for the benefit of His Kingdom, and the flock. The money that is collected in mega churches could buy franchises and put folks to work – especially within our black communities. Instead, preachers live lavishly while the flock often times go hungry.

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We cannot point the finger at the thugs, and blame them for the violence only. They are responsible for what they do to others, but so are the corporate – brief case carrying abusers who shamefully abuse their mates as well. This melting pot of violence is complex – and yet, there is hope. Preachers need to clean their own backyards, and then preach that violence in the home amounts to oppression and SIN! Preachers have a captive audience every Sunday – what better time to address this atrocity. And yet, the pulpit is silent on the issue of domestic violence and abuse. Why?

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According to Kathy Chaney, “Domestic violence hits black women harder.” And most times black women will be killed by a firearm. “In 1999, black women were murdered at a rate more than three times higher than white women (3.18 per 100,000 versus 0.96 per 100,000).” In fact, the Violence Policy Center reports:

“The disproportionate burden of fatal and nonfatal violence borne by black women has almost always been overshadowed by the toll violence has taken on black men.” Our mothers, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, friends, neighbors, and companions are dying at an alarming rate – even in the so-called Bible Belt.

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I met a little guy named Tony in Camden NJ years ago, and I think he was about 10-years old. One day I was reminiscing with my son, nephew and Tony about my crazy childhood – especially the part about not having any food to eat many days. All of a sudden, this kid jumped up from his seat and exclaimed, “See, that’s just how it is in my house!” I stopped laughing – the smile slowly left my face, and I was in shock. I guess I was naïve enough to think that the madness I experienced was isolated to the generation before me. It never dawned on me that the horrors were being passed down to future generations.

I was laughing and joking about the terrible times, for that is what black folks do. I guess it is a way of saying, “Phew! I came out of that alive.” There wasn’t anything funny about it really, but laughter helped to ease the pain. This is what made Richard Pryor famous, and relatable. Black people could relate to his pain, and Richard had a way of making you forget your own hurt – at least for a while.

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At the end of this post, there are links that will provide more information on statistics, racism, and other factors that fill the pot of violence. The black community needs the church to step up and do more. It is time out for watered down sermons, and feel good church services. If your preacher refuses to address this issue, it can be done with gatherings elsewhere. It would be nice if preachers would denounce this evil from the pulpit, but those who fight for justice do not have to wait on them to stand up and be real men of God. Have you ever had a talk about domestic violence with your pastor?

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One last point I would like to make. Yes, our black brothers “catch a bad break” as far a society goes – however – don’t let the “keepin’ a brother down” rap keep you in bondage. Our race as a whole has suffered because of the unjust system that oppressed our ancestors, and carries out this atrocity to this day. The oppression from the black man, should be as unacceptable as the oppression from the white man – do you get my meaning?

The information on this site is here to educate. Only you my sisters can make the choice to reach out for assistance. The circle can be unbroken, and it begins with God.

Peace

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WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(HELP FOR WOMEN IN GEORGIA)

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Invisible Woman: Black Women and Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence: When Love Becomes Hurtful

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How can the DOVES Program help you?

If you are living in an abusive relationship you may feel like you’re going crazy.  Actually, you are a sane person living in an insane situation.  Below are some ways we may be able to help you.  All services are free and confidential.

  • 24-Hour Hot Line
  • Safety Planning
  • Safe Shelter
  • Support making decisions and identifying resources
  • Financial Assistance (rent, utilities, lock changes)
  • Transportation to work, school and necessary appointments
  • Gas Vouchers
  • Bus Tickets
  • Assistance with Protection Order applications
  • Court hearing support
  • Attorney referrals
    • Medical Care
    • Prescription Assistance
    • Food Assistance
    • Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap)
    • Household items (furniture, appliances, bedding, towels, dishes)
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Paper products
    • Diapers & Baby Wipes
    • 911 Cell Phones
    • English-Speaking Support Groups (Please contact us for details)
    • Spanish-Speaking Support Group (Please contact us for details)

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North American Domestic Violence Shelter Locations

Undisclosed locations to protect the abused.

SAMPLE SAFETY PLAN – TO LEAVE ABUSE

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WHEN IT IS TIME TO LEAVE

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Black Women Prisoners

“One forgotten segment of the US penal population are African American women.”

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http://emily.last-memories.com/

“Child Abuse is real. It’s not something in fairy tales, or songs. It happens every day. Children cannot fight the real life monsters in their life, it’s our job as human beings with hearts to do it for them. We have to stop being silent and covering up. We must take a stand. We must continue the fight to stop child abuse. It’s too late to change what happened to Emily but let her story be a reminder to you, that we have to put an end to child abuse. For Emily, for the future of our children.”

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AFRICAN AMERICAN PLANNING COMMISSION, INC.

ttl

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY – THE ROLE OF THE BLACK CHURCH

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BETTY WRIGHT – You got it WRONG my sister. “A little bit of pleasure” is NOT “worth a whole lot of pain.”

Artist:  Betty Wright
Song Title:  No Pain No Gain

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CHRISTIAN SUFFERING-IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GOD’S WILL?

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AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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I Made A Baby With the Devil: A Black Moms Story of Parenting and Domestic Abuse

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Domestic Violence in Pregnancy

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Being pregnant not so wonderful for many Latinas and blacks

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Ohio landlord fights ‘White Only’ pool sign ruling

“CINCINNATI (AP) — A landlord found to have discriminated against a black girl by posting a “White Only” sign at a swimming pool wants a state civil rights commission to reconsider its decision.”

“The Ohio Civil Rights Commission found on Sept. 29 that Jamie Hein, who’s white, violated the Ohio Civil Rights Act by posting the sign at a pool at the duplex where the teenage girl was visiting her parents. The parents filed a discrimination charge with the commission and moved out of the duplex in the racially diverse city to “avoid subjecting their family to further humiliating treatment,” the commission said in a release announcing its finding.”

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Diary of a single mom

A must see for all women who juggle family, friends, compassion, love, domestic abuse, and everyday struggles. Especially for those women who tend to put the need’s of others first, and forget about her own.

Watch on Netflix

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Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

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LOOKING WITHIN- TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

ABUSERS TRANSFORMED:
MEN must look within to end the cycle of violence

http://www.idvaac.org/assemblingthepieces/newsletters/7-2.pdf

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Hip Hop and Domestic Violence

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Hip Hop Women Recount Abuse at Their Own Risk

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Family Violence and Men of Color: Healing the Wounded Spirit

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Battling the Demons of Domestic Violence

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, one writer explains how she stopped the cycle of abuse in her life.

“After years of rape and abuse, I’d had enough. I decided I was done wasting my life and hoping my husband would get better if I just stayed and continued to love him.”

“Maybe I thought I was unworthy of love and respect because I had never received it and nobody ever told me that I deserved it. Every adult woman I knew was suffering: being abused, cheated on, disrespected and struggling to provide for herself and her children.”

“Domestic violence can be physical, psychological, sexual or financial. I have experienced all but the latter. According to the American Bar Association, African-American women ages 20-24 experience significantly more domestic violence than white women in the same age group, and approximately 40 percent of black women report coercive sexual contact by age 18. The No. 1 killer of African-American women ages 15-25 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.”

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Chivalry and SexismThe Lie of Entitlement

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10 Signs You May Be in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

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Sexual Abuse In The Black Community: Yes, It’s Happening

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WHY BLACK CHILDREN CAN’T READ

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Why Shakir Can’t Read

“Shakir’s family situation is a significant part of his problem. He is one of four children to a twenty-something mother who has three other children by three different men, and she might well be pregnant again by her current boyfriend. Shakir’s mother is unemployed and on welfare. She and her current boyfriend tend to have loud fights which can become physical, and often her boyfriend, who can be a positive influence on Shakir, will disappear for weeks at a time to avoid doing violence to her. Shakir’s father is currently in prison, scheduled to be released some time later this year; his current stint in prison is not his first, and I fear it is not likely to be his last.”

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HIV crisis facing black women in metro Atlanta

“I sat back and it’s like he stole my life,” said Terri Gardner of Cartersville. “I wanted him dead.” Why? “Because now — you have not only taken my life. Who wants somebody that’s HIV positive?”

Gardner, 55, said she was robbed by the man she says infected her with HIV.

“He had my heart and it seems like he just got it and did what he wanted to do and that’s what he did,” said the mother of four, adding that it all came as a surprise.

“I didn’t even know when I got infected,” Gardner said.

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Her hope, and then her curse

“Domestic violence affects tens of thousands of Chicago-area families each year. One woman’s story provides rare insight into what we all need to know about the problem.”

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Man Charged With Stomping On Pregnant Ex’s Stomach

“According to the complaint, Turner kicked, punched, struck and choked the victim repeatedly, ordered her to lie back on the bed and then stomped on her stomach with both feet.”

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The Danger Assessment

The Danger Assessment helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. It is free and available to the public. Using the Danger Assessment requires the weighted scoring and interpretation that is provided after completing the training. The Danger Assessment is available in a variety of languages.

1 http://www.theroot.com/buzz/invisible-woman-black-women-and-domestic-violence

http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009-2012
All rights reserved.

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10 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2011 in BLACK WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “BLACK WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  1. Chantil Jackson

    February 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    There is a pecking order throughout history. The white master abusing the black man….and NOW…the black man abusing the black women. Black men are the new masters!

     
    • ssofdv

      February 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm

      Hello Chantil,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I can appreciate your thoughts.

      Peace

       

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