Domestic Violence and Silence

Do you hear that? It is the sound of a fist hitting flesh. Bam. Blood dripping off the lip of the victim. She whimpers. Most of the bruises she can hide with make-up. This is physical abuse.

Will you help her?

Did you know? That she left her ex-husband and he’s not supporting his children. He wanted her to stay at home and raise the children. She did. She left and he turned off all her cards and put all the money in the joint account in his private one. She doesn’t have money for food. This is financial abuse.

Will you help her?

Did you know that he called her “b*tch” so much that she thought that was her name? That he cussed her and put her down in front of his friends. Did you watch him make “jokes” at her expense and the painstakingly way she laughed off?  Did you know that he tells her personal and painful history to his new partner as a way to hurt her and humiliate her. This is emotional abuse. 

Will you help her?

Did you know that she endured sex so many times because he wanted it? She hated having sex with him whenever he wanted it but he told her that her body belonged to him. She died each time. This is sexual abuse. 

Will you help her?

Did you know that he sends her harassing emails putting her down and telling her “his beliefs and opinions” about her and what kind of parent she is? He talks about her negatively on social media. This is digital abuse.

Will you help her?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Did you know? Did you know that many women suffer from domestic violence that goes unreported.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. – National Domestic Violence Hotline

The CDC reports that before the age of 18 – 8.5 million women first experienced rape. I am one of those women. I am a survivor of domestic violence, as I was a victim of rape before the age of 18. I’ve also suffered emotional violence. Violence is never okay.

3b202f27ba0ec77aeff8735db236ee4c--abuse-survivor-new-life

Many men don’t see it as emotional violence because they feel that they aren’t physically assaulting you. That’s a myth. If you can’t control your temper and you use tactics to humiliate, embarrass or belittle your former partner, you need help. My rape isn’t my fault. My sexual assault isn’t my fault. My molestation isn’t my fault. Victim shaming is a form of humiliation and is insulting to the victim. You’ve now become a batterer.

I am a survivor and you need to know that violence is never the answer. Don’t ignore the pain of those that may need your support because your silence may kill. Help those that may be hurting.

domestic_violence_awareness_month

Do you know someone? Are you in an abusive relationship? Please get help. Call:

636054453425676230-1891386846_039f46f8-93b4-45ea-aeff-adb91c501dc6

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Advertisements

It’s Already October

Today is the first day of October and I can’t believe it. The year has flown by. But, I welcome October like the wonderful month it is. Why? Because it’s time for sweaters and boots and thick cozy socks. It’s time for pumpkin patches, haunted houses and hay rides. It’s time for hot apple ciders and fire pits.

Here are my 5 Goals for October:

  1. Take Munch to a pumpkin patch
  2. Do our fall photo shoot
  3. Attend a friend’s wedding
  4. Spend some family time with Mr. C and our kids
  5. Take Munch trick or treating

I can’t wait. This is the 10th month of the year and 2016 is almost over. I hope you make this an amazing October and enjoy the cooler month.

valerie_hart_october_art

October 2015 Was Busy

Hey Everyone!

I had a busy October with Munch and I wanted to share some of those photos.

Munch Got Glasses

We went to the eye doctor in September and I was hurt when I found out that my 7 year old would need glasses so soon. I mean his dad and I wear glasses but we definitely thought it would be high school or later. Nope, he needed them now. I didn’t add him to my vision plan last year, but put extra money into my Health Care Flexible Spending Account to pay for the purchases. Here is a photo of him in his new glasses that he picked out:

12038891_10207514440040890_3182607352297057939_o

Pumpkin Patch

We were able to do a mommy play date with some of his friends from daycare. We spent a wonderful Sunday with his friends from daycare who now go different schools. We did a hay ride, he and his friends played in the moon bounce, looked at the pigs and played in the hay. I love Fall and I love spending it with my munch.

12096174_10207576113142679_5528092090794035768_n

 

Halloween Party

My son went to a costume party at his Tae Kwan Do Academy on October 30th. He was ecstatic. He got to dress up, eat and play. I picked up a $5.00 Pirate costume from Family Dollar so that he wouldn’t mess up his actual Halloween costume. There was no lesson but lots of food, dancing and games and he was just fine. I’m so proud of him.

12143356_10207641364933933_4333467688405392882_n

My Niece’s Birthday Party

My youngest niece (aka Princess #2) turned 3 on October 30th and my sister decided to do her birthday party on Halloween at Chuck-e-Cheese. This is after I booked and paid for my son to attend a Monster Mash at my baker’s house. I had to drive 43 miles north and then turn right around and drive 43 miles south to attend the event. Ugh! But, family events are important and munch needed to be there. He even picked out the gift he wanted his little cousin to have.
image

Halloween Monster Mash

My high school classmate, Lashaun, is a creative genius. Her and her best friend hosted a Monster Mash at Lashaun’s house this year. It was incredible. It was a kiddie day party complete with decorating cookies, cake pops, cup cakes and candy apples. It was a kid party overload. He loved it. They played games and even trick or treated and got a huge bag of candy. She is definitely the queen of day parties.

Photo by Cook-E-Portraits
Photo by Cook-E-Portraits

Halloween

Yes, it is my son’s favorite time of the year. He wanted to be Sonic the Hedgehog again this year. I have to tell you that I hate repeat costumes, but I got over it and happily bought the costume again. This year his weekend with me fell on Halloween and he was excited because I took him trick or treating with his god brother.
image

 

That was my busy October. Welcome November!

Dating and Domestic Violence

I read the tragic story of Bianca Richardson Tanner this summer and was immediately heartbroken. Bianca was a beautiful, 31-year-old educator and mother. She was reported missing by her boyfriend and 10 days later her body was discovered in a wooded area in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was a victim of domestic violence.

According to her family she had moved to Charlotte with her boyfriend to start her teaching career this fall. Her dream. Her dream died the day she did. Thankfully, her boyfriend was arrested for the crime. How did they catch him? Because Bianca’s courageous three-year old son told the police “Mommy got a spanking with the belt. Angelo kicked mommy’s butt and made her cry,” the boy told police according to court records. “Angelo is mean to mommy and hurt mommy in the face.” The police now had a starting point.

Let’s talk about Bianca’s case. Bianca’s boyfriend was a violent offender against women. He had abused other women prior to Bianca. Bianca never knew. How could a man have three separate abuse charges filed and not have spent time in jail? Why can’t we enact a required law that causes charged abusers to register like sex offenders? I mean did he really have to abuse three women before murdering the fourth. No.

We as women need to be educated when it comes to dating men especially when we have children. We need to diligent about background screenings for potential mates. Even if everything comes back clear, we need to leave at the first sign of abusive behavior. Why do we stay with our abusers? I don’t care if he says he’ll never do it again. I don’t believe it and neither should you. I mean Bianca was abused before right? According to her son, her boyfriend was mean to her. Last month, I read this great piece, by Feminista Jones, for Time where she said:

“Racism and sexism are two of the biggest obstacles that Black women in America face. But because many Black women and men believe racism is a bigger issue than sexism, Black women tend to feel obligated to put racial issues ahead of sex-based issues.”

As I read this, one thought entered my mind, “Yes.” This is why we stay. We have been programmed to believe that our value as black women is to support our black men first and then women issues. We wonder “Am I black or Am I woman”. We can’t seem to simultaneously fight two battles because we have to be strong black women holding down our black men and our black people. But, what about self? I want to change that.

We need to change that. A study of 2011 homicide data conducted by the Violence Policy Center examined that “The disproportionate burden of fatal and nonfatal violence borne by black females has almost always been overshadowed by the toll violence has taken on black males. In 2011, black females were murdered at a rate more than two and a half times higher than white females: 2.61 per 100,000 versus 0.99 per 100,000.” These are not total strangers. More like boyfriends and intimate partner violence.

Recognize the signs. According to Safe Horizon here are some signs of domestic violence:

Does your partner ever:

  1. Accuse you of cheating and being disloyal?
  2. Make you feel worthless?
  3. Hurt you by hitting, choking or kicking you?
  4. Intimidate and threaten to hurt you or someone you love?
  5. Threaten to hurt themselves if they don’t get what they want?
  6. Try to control what you do and who you see?
  7. Isolate you?
  8. Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?
  9. Control your access to money?
  10. Stalk you, including calling you constantly or following you?

So, what do you do if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or intimate partner violence? First, get help. Call the police! Leave. There is no reason to stay in an abusive relationship and you have to trust that people will help you. You can call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Safe House Center has created a handbook for survivors of domestic violence. You can download it here.

Let’s remember that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and not forget the women who have fallen victim to domestic violence like Bianca Richardson Tanner. Let’s encourage each other to never forget Bianca and know that we can make a difference.

25788726_bg2

 

Check out this video I posted last month about a woman who didn’t hit first and was a victim of domestic violence:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness

Not sure if you know it or not, but October is Domestic Violence Awareness month too. I realized that many may overlook it because it’s easier to remember to wear pink and show support for an equally worthy cause, breast cancer. But when I read this article on USA Today about the National Football League (NFL), I was in agreement with the author and decided to do something about it. So, I will spend some time each week bringing light to domestic violence in hopes of educating and encouraging us to recognize the signs and to hopefully seek help to get out of unhealthy situations. It’s not just women that are abused. Men too.

It’s about control. Plain and simple. I witnessed domestic violence first hand as a child. As a young woman in relationships, I was a victim too it. Not to the physical violence, but the emotional, psychological and sexual violence. I am the face of domestic violence. But, I didn’t know it was domestic violence. No one ever told me.

October is not just Breast Cancer Awareness month but also Domestic Violence Awareness month. Although I don’t know anyone who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, I still support it. But, as a victim of domestic violence, I think I have to take a stand and promote this awareness. Not just for me, but for my friends, family and others who may be suffering.

So, each week I will dedicate one post to hopefully bring about awareness to this serious and just as worthy cause.

StickerDVawareness