Our Bi-monthly Opinion Piece Article
Let's Talk About It!
By K. Lerone Hardy – July 28 2021
I would like to mention that this latest bi-monthly opinion piece was supposed to be on a different subject matter - different from the disturbing subject matter that you are about to read. After viewing "The Black Functional Man" on The Black Functional Man YouTube Channel, taking in the subject of the conversation, where the owner and co-host of The Black Functional Man (Toney Simmons) spoke about domestic violence within the Black community, where domestic violence is one of our deepest secrets.
What really made this video so powerful, was that one of the panelists was the mother of the host, Mr. Toney Simmons. Mr. Simmons mother's insight into domestic violence was so powerful that I decided to bump the next scheduled topic of "Let's Talk About It" opinion piece, focusing instead on the ills of domestic violence in the African-American community.
Domestic violence in the Black community has been swept under the rug for far too long. It's one of several family generational traumas that normalizes pain as a sense of love. Domestic violence impacts our families, especially our children. The reality is that 1 in 15 children observe intimate partner violence annually. From that population, over 90% of those witnesses observe domestic violence. When it comes to adults, 43% of Black women are likely to be victims of domestic violence.
When looking at domestic violence, the question could be what is it? Physical abuse is what we hear about the most, but there are other forms of abuse. Emotional abuse is when you impact someone's core, with put downs like "You're stupid", "You're ugly" or "Your friends don't even like you, except me.
Psychological abuse impacts one's own state of mind, like not trusting, or blaming a person for everything. Gaslighting is another form of psychological abuse, where the perpetrator uses manipulation, where they deny any wrongdoing.
Financial abuse is where a person's income is controlled. The perpetrator wants their entire paycheck, deny assistance for food, doing things to keep a person from working, or keeping their job.
In the Black community, we don't ask for help. The idea is that our problems need to stay private and not tell anyone about our pain. Many Black women feel the need to keep their problems to themselves, to keep their housing and jobs.
Another major issue is a lack of involvement in the Black community. Many people believe that what happens between two adults should stay between them and not get involved.
Many Black women do not want to deal with the criminal justice system. The Black community already has issues with the criminal justice system. A lot of victims don't press charges for love and concern for the abuser.
As for medical attention, only 34% of victims seek medical care. This ties to the health care system being like the legal system, where the Black community already has issues with receiving adequate care.
So, what's the solution? Be an advocate for victims' resources like housing and jobs. Victims in the Black community face discrimination in those areas and need our help.