What the hell?! This is a story, a novel, right?
“The son wishes to remember what the father wishes to forget.”Yiddish Proverb
She yanks the black skillet out and slung the grease into the sink. Before he knew what was happening, Mildred raised the heavy pan into the air and charged into him, hitting him on the forehead with a loud throng. Blood ran down over his eye and he grabbed her and pushed back into the bedroom. The kids heard them bumping into the wall for seemed like forever and then they heard nothing at all. (p.9)
Freda hushed the girls and made them huddle under a flimsy flannel blanket on the bottom bunk bed. “Shut up, before they hear us and we’ll be next” she whispered loudly. She tried to comfort the two youngest, Angel and Doll, by wrapping them inside her skinny arms, but it was no use. They couldn’t stop crying. None of them understood any of this, but when they heard the mattress squeaking, they knew what was happening.(p.9)
Money ran from his room into Freda’s. When Money couldn’t stand it any more, he tiptoed back to his room. He flipped over his mattress, because the fighting always made him lose control of his bladder. He would say his prayers extra hard and swear that when he got older and got married he would never beat his wife; he wouldn’t care whatshe did. He would leave first.(p.9)
The girls slid into their respective bunks and lay there, not moving to scratch or even twitch. They tried to inch into their separate dreams but the sound of creaking grew louder and louder, then faster and faster. “Why they try to kill each other, then do the nasty?” Bootsey asked Freda. “Mama don’t like doing it,” Freda explained. “She only doing it so Daddy won’t hit her no more.”
Sounds like she like it to me. It’s taking forever,” said Bootsey. Angel and Doll didn’t know what they were talking about. “Just go to sleep,” Freda said. And pretty soon the noises stopped and their eyelids drooped and they fell asleep.”(p.10)
· In a nationally representative survey conducted in 1996, 29% of African American women and 12% of African American men reported at least one instance of violence from an intimate partner.· African Americans account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides. In 2005, African Americans accounted for almost 1/3 of the intimate partner homicides in this country.· Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22% of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29% of all female victims of intimate partner homicide.· Intimate partner homicides among African Americans have declined sharply in the last 30 years. Partner homicides involving a black man or black woman decreased from a high of 1529 in 1976 to 475 in 2005, for a total decline of 69%.· Intimate partner deaths have decreased most dramatically among black men. From 1976-1985, black men were more likely than black women to be a victim of domestic homicide; by 2005, black women were 2.4 times more likely than a black male to be murdered by their partners. Over this period, intimate partner homicides declined by 83% for black men vs.55% for black women.
BE AWARE OF THE RISK FACTORS FOR INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE (IPV)
· Have lower incomes.· Where the male partner is underemployed or unemployed.· In couples where the male is not seeking work.· In couples that reside in very poor neighborhoods, regardless of the couple’s income.
Relational Risk Factors
· Alcohol problems (drinking, binge drinking, dependency) are more frequently related to intimate partner violence for African Americans than for whites or Hispanics.· As with other abusive men, African American men who batter are higher in jealousy and the need for power and control in the relationship.· As with women of other races, among African American women killed by their partner, the lethal violence was more likely to occur if there had been incidents in which the partner had used or threatened to use a weapon on her and/or the partner has tried to choke or strangle her.· Among African American women killed by their partner, almost half were killed while in the process of leaving the relationship, highlighting the need to take extra precautions at that time.· Among African American women who killed their partner, almost 80% had a history of abuse.
FAMILIARIZE & UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT OF ABUSE
· have more physical ailments,· have mental health issues,· are less likely to practice self sex· are more likely to abuse substances during pregnancy
· for attempting suicide· of history of being abused as a child· for being depressed· suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
LEARN ABOUT THE DYNAMICS OF ABUSE
· In a large sample of battered black women, in about half the cases in which abuse happened, the violence did not happen again.· However, over 1/3 of women reporting abuse had at least one other incident of severe domestic violence in the same year· And one in six experienced another less severe act of domestic violence
· Seventy to eighty percent of abused black women left or attempted to leave the relationship.
· Battered black women who reported that they could rely on others for emotional and practical support were less like to be re-abused, showed less psychological distress and were less likely to attempt suicide.
CHILDREN LEARN FROM THEIR LESSONS WELL FROM THEIR PARENTS
· Almost 14% of African American youth (vs. 7% of white youth) reported that a boyfriend or girlfriend had “hit, slapped or physically hurt them on purpose” in the last year· Boys (13.7%) and girls (14%) were almost equally likely to report being a victim of dating violence
The RITE Thing
R = Recognize- The person is in danger.I = Intervention- Provide assistance. Identify resources.T = Transform- Take action. Ensure safety.E = Empowerment- Look towards the tomorrow. Plan and work towards the future
· The local domestic violence hotline· The local community crisis clinic· The local United Way agency· The local state office responsible for the welfare of children, youth and families.· The local police or law enforcement agency
“SUFFERING IN SILENCE”To end the sufferingWe must no longer be silent.If we do not speak,It is a certainty that no one will listen.Words will never arise from silenceSpeak.—Dr. Micheal Kane