Domestic violence seems to be one of those topics you keep quiet on in respect of not embarrasing those involved but this topic hits too close to home for me.I grew up seeing black women in my family get beat by men. I have even seen some of my closest friends get beat by men. Domestic violence has been a prevalent issue in the lives of a lot of women, more specifically black women from my experience.
While so much emphasis is put on other issues that threaten the lives of American citizens in the media, domestic violence - when brought up- tends to disappear from the surface. It gets sugar coated and swept under the rug. For instance, when the video footage surfaced in 2014 of NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee, Janay, unconcious in a hotel elevator, the media went nuts and people spoke out about it ending in Ray being suspended from the NFL. Ultimately, Janay went on to forgive and marry Ray standing by his side as he fought to try to make his way back into the NFL. As time went on, the severity in the medias eyes decreased so now we barely hear of this problem nor has it been addressed as a national issue.
The worst part of this situation is that the assualt in the hotel elevator was not Rays first. Seeing that Janay continued to go back and put herself in the situation, she enabled his behavior. Had that footage never been shown, she would probably still be getting abused and the results could have been far worse than her being knocked unconscious. She lucked up because other women do not survive domestic abuse. On August 9, my soror was beat to death with a baseball bat in front of her children. While everything looked great on the outside and her social media posts of her and her husband never displayed any signs of abuse or discfunction within their relationship, there was unfortantely more happening behind closed doors.
Dead or alive, domestic violence affects all parties involved and while people are told to mind their business, the results end in tragedy. The children who grow up seeing domestic violence in their home are affected mentally and emotionally. Although what I grew up seeing did nor result in tragedy, what I saw and the feelings I felt back then still affect me to this day. For young men, most who turn to abusing their spouse react from what they are used to seeing in their upbringing. Chris Brown was a prime example. After pictures made headlines of Rihanna's face being battered by Chris, he was under a lot of scrutiny and criticism being deemed a woman beater.
Chris ultimately admitted that his step dad used to beat his mother. Witnessing the abuse from age 7 to 13, he said:
'He made me terrified all the time, terrified like I had to pee on myself...I remember one night he made her nose bleed. I was crying and thinking, 'I'm just gonna go crazy on him one day"... I hate him to this day (Giant Magazine, 2007).'
In an interview with Tyra Banks, he even said that he would talk to his mom about the abuse but “when a woman’s in love … you don’t look at it like that.” And for some women, I can totally agree....case and point the Ray and Janay Rice fiasco.
While some women chooose to keep quiet on domestic violence because of 'love', there are some who do try to speak up about it but are not taken serious or believed. K.Michelle was a victim of domestic violence and caught back lash from trying to expose her former boyfriend/manager for it. As sad as it was, I'm happy that the truth revealed itself.
Domestic violence is a serious issue and should never be taken lightly or underestimated. What I have learned from domestic violence and what all people should take away from the issue is that domestic violence does not look a certain a way. Never judge a book by its cover because while everythinglooks good on the outside, we do not know what's going on on the inside. That smile could be a cry for help! Instead of acting like domestic violence does not or is not happening, we need to speak up about it. What I want to know is why do people sweep it under the rug? Why do we mind our business and keep try to keep it a secret? Lets chat below.