It has always been said that back women are strong, independent, hardworking and has the blood through their veins to be powerful, vocal and is a born fighter. All of these things are true but there are misconceptions about some black women. When the words domestic violence is heard, people automatically assume that it is a white, Hispanic, or Asian woman. A woman of color never comes to mind. Why? Not only because of the multiple descriptions above but because it's known that black women will fight back and will never back down from a fight. This is so far from the truth. There are black women who are in a domestic violent relationship or marriage. Just like so many other women, they too fell trapped and have a sense of no escape.
Domestic Violence doesn't have a color and sex. Yes, some men are in domestic violent relationships too. I honestly believe that they are non-vocal because they (men) are in an uncommon situation. But looking at the black women, there are more cases of black women in domestic violent relationship that coming out in the open. Many of the women in these cases witnessed someone in their home when they was a child, who they looked up to as a strong female in their life, get beat up on by men. Sometime during their childhood, they try to comfort the female they admired only to be turned away with a single phase, "I'm okay. It'll be alright." With that simple phrase they assumed that things were okay and that, that is what's to happen to women.
Also in the black culture, spankings are called beatings. As a child our mothers wouldn't say you are going to be a spanking; they would say, "You are going to get a beating when you get home." Sometimes the beatings doesn't happen at home. Sometimes the beatings would take place in the back seat of a car or in a public restroom. But at home....the dad would do the "beating". Interesting, how a grown man would beat their daughter and after the beating were over, it was the talk about how they beat them because they love them. This can confuse any young child, especially a young girl. At that point her spirit is broken and thinks that if she gets hit, it's because she is loved. I believe that's where it starts with most women of color.
Some black women who didn't grow up in a home with a dad could have possibly experienced the gradual effects of domestic violence in other ways. That first boyfriend or that first crush who used her and she missed all the signs. Some black women who are CEO's and who hold high positions in their career, can also be in a domestic violent relationship but can it hide it very well. Sometimes they would take their frustrations out on their employees or co-workers. Tyler Perry's movie "Madea's Family Reunion", is about a black woman in a violent relationship. He shows how it's difficult for some women to leave a toxic and dangerous relationship because of family and the blindness of material things. I wrote a novel called "Rescuing Destiny" about a young CEO becoming trapped in a domestic violent relationship that she covered up for years. Both characters, Lisa in Madea's Family Reunion and Destiny in Rescuing Destiny, feared for their lives and what they can lose. Domestic Violence in the black community is present and is becoming more common.
Shedding light on domestic violence regardless of race or sex is a priority that shouldn't be taken lightly. Here are some signs that shows gradual steps in a violent relationship.
- Controlling behavior
- Blames others for problems and feelings
- Cruelty to animals and children
- Force Sex
- Verbal abuse
- Dual personality
- Past battering
- Threats of violence
- Breaking and striking objects
- Any force during an argument
It's never too late to get out. If you know anyone who is being abused or maybe you are a victim call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233 or you can visit www.thehotline.org