On Accepting And Acknowledging That America Is A Uniquely Dangerous Place For Black Women » VSB

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On Accepting And Acknowledging That America Is A Uniquely Dangerous Place For Black Women

Korryn Gaines via Facebook

 

The two most prominent stories on my collective (Facebook and Twitter) timelines yesterday involved the death of a Black woman. One (Korryn Gaines) was shot and killed by police officers during an alleged stand-off. Her five-year-old son was also shot. He is expected to survive.

Another (Joyce Quaweay) was stripped naked, handcuffed to a bench, and beaten to death by her boyfriend (Aaron Wright). Wright was assisted by his best friend (Marquis Robinson), who helped restrain Quaweay. Both men were former Temple University police officers. Also present were the children Quaweay and Wright had together, a two-year-old and a 10-month-old. One can only shudder at the thought of how brutal (and long) that beating must have been if it resulted in her death.

Naturally, most of the reactions to these stories — at least the reactions I read — possessed the type of sadness and outrage you’d anticipate accompanying such tragic news.

There was also a collective exasperation, and a sadness and an outrage specifically derived from that exasperation. But this specific exasperation wasn’t necessarily due to the acts themselves. It came from a frustration about the reactions to these acts.

In Gaines’s case, this frustration stemmed from the observation many Black women (and some Black men) made that Gaines didn’t seem to receive the same immediate benefit of the doubt and support from Black men that Black men killed by police always seem to. In Quaweay’s case, the frustration stemmed from an acknowledgement of the role toxic patriarchy played in her death, and the reluctance of (some) Black men to acknowledge that it even exists.

Together, both of these frustrations and exasperations speak to a larger and painstakingly pervasive and consistent theme. That America is a uniquely dangerous place for Black women. Even more dangerous than it is for Black men. And that far too few people — far too few Black men, specifically — care to accept and acknowledge this.

Now, I can cite myriad statistics and studies to express why this – that America is a uniquely dangerous place for Black women — is true. Proof is not very difficult to find. Articulating the reasonings behind the disconnect between the general accepted narrative and the reality, however, is a bit more complex. So complex that the best way for me to make some sense of it is to get personal; for me to explain why this disconnect existed within me too.

As long as I can remember being aware of race, racism, and the type of violence (both racial and general) that’s featured in the news, Black men have been the faces of it. When learning at home and in school about the fight for civil rights, while I was taught that while Black women and girls definitely played a prominent role in that battle, it was Black men like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and Medger Evers who were assassinated and martyred. It was Black boys like Emmett Till who were murdered by White men; Black men like Jesse Washington who were lynched.

And as a teen in the 90s, when police-involved and gang/drug-related violence dominated our news, Black men were the faces of that too. It was Black men like Rodney King who became national stories after being beaten by the police, and Black men like Jonny Gammage who were killed by them. It was (mostly) Black men killed in drive-bys and neighborhood feuds; in gang wars and tragic miscommunications. It was a Black male — a star football player named Dorian Reid — who was murdered my sophomore year of high school; an act that led to Peabody High School shutting down for an entire week. The people I graduated high school with who were murdered within a couple years of graduation? All Black males. One of whom was a friend killed by another one of my friends, also a Black male. As a young adult teaching at Wilkinsburg High School, it was Black boys like Chandler Thompson and Steven Tibbs — both of whom sat in my classroom — who were killed. It was Black men like my friend Kenneth Alford Jr (who everyone knew as “Stubbo”) who were killed as a result of senseless shit like mistaken identity. And Black men like Amir Allen, who came to a birthday slumber party my parents threw for me when I was 11, serving life sentences in prison today for killing another Black man.

Statistics — murder rates and incarceration rates, specifically — and the stories and news segments these statistics existed in reflected this idea of Black men existing as the most likely victims of violence and racism. Of course, Black women and girls were victimized by racial violence and murdered too. I was aware of historically prominent stories like the four little girls in Birmingham. And stories that weren’t as nationally prominent, but still resonated with me, like the circumstances surrounding 17-year-old Cynthia Wiggins’s death in a Buffalo suburb in 1995. And of the several students I taught who had been murdered, one (18-year-old Richiena Porter) was a Black girl.

But these instances were generally treated as anomalies — things that generally just didn’t happen to Black women very often — so I believed them to be. And internalized that. And with this internalization came the idea that, when thinking of the dangers that Black people are disproportionately affected by, murder rates and incarceration rates were the ones that mattered most.

But while we (Black men) are more likely to get murdered or face imprisonment than Black women are, each still happens to Black women at very high rates. And the number of Black men actually affected by this is still considerably lower than the number of Black women victimized by the types of violence that doesn’t always make the news and doesn’t always have extensive data collected on. Namely, sexual assaults and partner-related violence.

Now, it’s not very difficult to conclude why (some) Black men might wish to minimize the existence and effect of this type of violence. Instead of allowing us (Black men) to exist as the primary victims, we have to share that status and also accept that, in regards to the violence Black women face, we’re the primary victimizers. “Fighting the Power” is a hollow concept if you just want to switch from a White male patriarchy to a Black male one. Accepting that is a very difficult pill to swallow. Especially after decades of considering yourself uniquely endangered.

But with me, specifically, something else happened. Something that I suspect happened (and continues to happen) with other Black men. Something that I know will sound awkward reading, because I’m still not quite sure how to articulate it.

I’ve been aware of the dangers specific to women. But it took years for me to understand it as pervasive. Not because I didn’t want to, but because it just wasn’t real to me. If you’re a person (like me) who never witnessed this type of violence in the home or his family, and never committed any acts of violence or abuse — physical, sexual, or emotional — towards women, there’s a good chance you’ve never actually seen it. You’ve read about it, seen movies about it, and perhaps even heard stories about it, but its difficult to recognize something as pervasive if it doesn’t seem to exist in your life.

Of course, doesn’t “seem” to exist is an important distinction here. If half of women have been victimized in this way at some point in their lives, it stands to reason that half of my homegirls, female classmates, girlfriends, female work colleagues, and female family members have been too. It definitely existed, despite my ignorance to it.

But it didn’t become real to me until two things happened. First, three separate women I’ve known as an adult confided in me about being assaulted — something (the confiding) that never happened to me before. Each of these were women I wouldn’t have guessed had something like that happen to them, which reinforced the pervasiveness and the idea that it can happen to anyone. And also forced me to acknowledge some problematic and inaccurate thoughts about what “victims” looked and acted like.

But also, to be quite honest, the internet happened. Namely personal blogs and digital magazines and places like Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr. Before the internet, there just weren’t this many first-person stories available for public consumption. And definitely not as much easily searchable data. But now, for anyone with a wifi connect or even a smart phone, there’s no excuse to not at least be aware. Even if you (wrongly) suspect these issues aren’t as pervasive as you’ve heard they are, ask Google. And Google will change that perception in 0.000001 seconds.

If, of course, you want it to.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • The struggles of black women in America is due to the twin sins of racism and patriarchy. It’s as America’s phallic id is taking out their rage for being chocolate and for daring to leave their homes. I hate how black men, so often raised by black mothers in a frequently solitary parenthood (though close extended families is one of the unspoken joys of being black; my uncle became my father when my father didn’t want to bother), generally become the perpetrators of violence.

    https://hhharris.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/the-blue-paper-trail/

    • Tambra

      In my experience a lot of women are complicit in and actually welcome their abuse. There is a common saying ” If loves me, he will beat me”, which is extremely horrifying. But then again beating women is seen as a cure for her failing in her womanly duties.

      • Emmie

        This reply is striking a chord with me but I’m having trouble putting my reaction into words…

        • La Bandita

          She’s victim blaming and its disgusting.

      • Mizwest

        Can you elaborate on these experiences……so I can get a better understanding of what you mean when you say: In my experience a lot of women are complicit in and actually welcome their abuse.

        • La Bandita

          She or he is victim blaming and its disgusting.

          • Mizwest

            Your right, this response confused me as I thought I had read it incorrectly. I wanted to respond differently but I decided to try and be polite about it. Because maybe there was something I was missing? Because of the lack of response I guess I should take it at face value.

      • Kenz34

        “In my experience a lot of women are complicity in and actually welcome their abuse.” – This is never true – it just showcases a prevalent misunderstanding of the definition and effects of abuse. If someone first broke both of a person’s legs and then continued to beat them you wouldn’t wonder why that person didn’t run away. Emotional and psychological abuse can be equally if not more crippling to a human being … in many cases actually more harmful because our society will not acknowledge the damage in the first place then add victim/survivor blaming into the mix making it worse. Believing that any human being is in any way “welcoming” the abuse they may receive – and perpetuating the absolute lie that “wanting to be abused” is a thing all on its own as opposed to a symptom of and evidence of the actual abuse itself is ADDING to the problem ten-fold. – and contributing to why that person believes there isn’t a way out. If you know anyone that seems to be “complicit” in abuse they are receiving that person needs help, understanding and to be built up.

      • TheDecider

        Not just women.. people are complicit in and actually welcome their abuse.

      • grownandsexy2

        Sometimes I wonder if those sentiments are formed in some of our childhoods. Sometimes when parents beat their kids, they say, “I whip you because I love you. If I didn’t beat you it would mean I didn’t care.” This was pretty prevalent when I was growing up. Maybe kids internalize this and equate love with being beaten. I remember when my daughter was growing up, one of her girlfriends told her that because she didn’t get beatings, it meant that I didn’t love her. My daughter was quite distressed. I’m not a beater and have never hit her. But that’s just me. Beating is not my style. I preferred to deny things she loved as punishment or talk.

      • La Bandita

        Being ignorant does not equal being complicit in your own abuse. Abusers are 100 responsible for their own actions of abusing. You’re victim blaming and its disgusting.

  • Ess Tee

    I believe wholeheartedly that the reason why some Black men make excuses for the poor treatment of Black women or their inability to acknowledge the oppression that we face is, just as you stated, that it implicates them. Even if they are not the perpetrators of it, speaking on it seems to have this weird effect on them.

    Be out here sounding like White folks who twist the words of Black people talking about systemic racism and privilege to mean that Black people hate them. The Black men who do that when it comes to Black women? Sad as fuck.

    • charisma_supreme

      It’s just maddening to me that they don’t realize they sound exactly like “Dwight Man”. Liiiiiiike…. are you just gone wind-mill against that dissonance all day, orrrrrrrrr….

    • When Black men and Women put each other down, there is still a sense that it us vs. you and that really bothers me. There’s a certain lack of empathy that we (Black men) have demanding from everyone but not giving to women (of all colors BTW).

      It’s certainly a learned behavior. We came from an ainshyt generation after all, but even when we get called out we start with the excuses. It’s as perplexing as depressing.

    • blogdiz

      The bro code is killing us the same BM who get defensive with the #notallblackmen or accuse you of gender war (see above ) rarely ever check their bro when they are out of pocket . Has to start with the MEN who claim to be conscious or very smart brothas us talking not getting anywhere
      Its funny they dont see the eerie similarity with the cops who claim not all cops are bad but never snitch or step up to a fellow cop that they know is doing wrong

      • Duff Soviet Union

        What’s also funny is that so many of the black men who hate feminism don’t realise that they’re basically the other side of the same coin.

        White feminists love to call on black women for “solidarity” when it suits them and then turn around and ignore / marginalise / discriminate against them when BW say “what about us?”. When an issue affects white women it “affects all women”, but when it’s about BW it’s “more of a race issue”.

        So many black men are basically the same. They call for “unity” when it suits them and then discriminate when it doesn’t.

        Both groups also love to call out BW’s who point this out as “divisive” which implies they were together in the first place.

        • La Bandita

          Feminist White women love to speak to Black men on Black women’s issues I’ve notice as well.

  • blogdiz

    The “Four little girls” have names they are , Addie Mae Collins ,, Carol Denise McNair , Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley , Even on their wiki page the name of their killers are listed first and their names are buried in the 3rd/4th paragraph
    Also everyone who knows the name Rodney King should also know the name Latasha Harlins (google her if you dont )

    • josh gibson

      There were five little girls. Sarah Collins, the sister of Ada Mae was made blind in one eye by the explosion and to this day suffers from her injuries.

  • Julian Green

    “…to be quite honest, the internet happened. Namely personal blogs and digital magazines and places like Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr.”
    I can attest; Jezebel, Huffpost & Crunk Feminist Collective made me take a long, hard look at myself.

  • Nik White

    Thank you Damon. I’d like to say more but I don’t feel like crying at work.

  • brothaskeeper

    I watched the 15-minute recording of Ms. Gaines’ traffic stop, and I understood her fear of the police, which was justified, but at the same time, if your tags are taken, you should look at getting a bus pass. If you have to be out and about, you get pulled, and you’re unable to produce proof of insurance, expect to be accosted by the law. Then I watched the reports of her demise and the statement made by the police official. According to him, she was holding her child while firing multiple rounds from a shotgun. Something in the milk ain’t clean, because she’d have to have Terry Crews-like muscles to hold a baby, withstand the recoil, and pump. Secondly, How was her babydaddy able to flee? Thirdly, As the police were apprised of the situation, they knew there were children in the household, so why did they not use nonlethal methods of submission? Still, the common denominator in this case is not only the devaluation of Black women’s lives, but also the age difference between these women and their significant others. In the case of the woman whose SO handcuffed her to the bench, I really can’t see a reason for a nearly 50-year-old man to seek out and date a woman half her age other than to exert a measure of “control” over her and perpetuate some degree of patriarchy. In the case of Ms. Gaines, where was the babydaddy (who was also almost double her age) to be his family’s protector, not necessarily to give and take bullets for her, but to act as a buffer? Why was his first instinct to dip? I know that police don’t care if you’re butt nekkit and waving a white flag, but couldn’t he have done SOMETHING? Unless he determined that he couldn’t “control” her and said fuggit.

    • RaeNBow

      i specifically didnt comment on the Gaines case because I’ve already had my unpopular opinion for the week.

      That said, she exhibited behavior that leads me to believe she may have held views of or similar to a so-called “sovereign citizen”… which holds a lot of other implications.

      • LMNOP

        Hmm, I just googled that, never heard of sovereign citizens before.

        To me she sounded like she had significant mental health issues that weren’t being adequately addressed.

        • RaeNBow

          yeah. the sovereign citizen mentality/ belief is dangerous. while there is no proof that she claimed to be one, the things she said, specifically the challenge to the cops authority to stop her and the alleged use of cardboard “tags” on her vehicle that warned people not to infringe on her right to travel is tell-tale.

          cops are often warned about these type of folk because they have a history of being combative with law enforcement. this all likely could have led to the heightened sense of danger when dealing with her.

          usually people who hold sovereign citizen beliefs can seem quite normal in everyday. life. but the fact that they hold those beliefs is a clear sign that they are not mentally capable of good reasoning skills and/or easily manipulated into a cult like system of beliefs. i wish her family had gotten her help.

        • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

          My daughter’s father is on thisale. Very intelligent guy. In jail now because he tried to buy a house and a car on a closed bank account. This sovereign citizen stuff started a couple of years back. I saw him riding a bike down the street and stopped to try talk. He spent an hour talking and all I could think is he is completely gone.

          • RaeNBow

            yeah, my hair stylist started spewing sovereign citizen stuff a few months back. ** i am currently searching for a new hair stylist **

            they are literally CONNED into this belief system. its a cult scheme. people tell them they can “wipe out student loan debt/credit card debt/ tax debt” and they buy into it. literally. they pay a few dollars for a seminar. then they pay a few dollars more for more “advice”. Next thing you know, the money they’ve invested makes them susceptible to “going for broke” about their ‘beliefs’. I’ve seen it way too many times. it NEVER ends well. Most of them try to combat the government by making erroneous court filings, etc. but some end up combating officers.

            condolences to your daughter. losing her dad to a cult mentality like this is awful.

            • Kas

              Isn’t that what led to Wesley Snipes’ issues?

              • RaeNBow

                he did, indeed, try to use a “sovereign citizen” argument in his tax appeal. smh

                • Kas

                  Death and taxes are the only thing we know for sure. Can’t understand why people keep looking for a loophole for both.

            • Mary Burrell

              Sovereign Citizens I need to google this are they some kind of cult?

          • L8Comer

            I’m sorry to hear that.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        I mean i can understand questioning some of her previous actions but I don’t like how many are saying she’s 100 percent behind her demise when the actions of the police are very questionable at least. Other avenues could and have been taken (even in worse situations take the standoff in Waco,TX). there were better alternatives.

        • RaeNBow

          i agree, other avenues could have been taken. and i question why they first fired a shot at the woman when she had a child in her arms.

          something does not seem altogether right about the story. but i do try to take a balanced perspective on these things.

          trying to see it from a cops POV: if I am dealing with someone who can reasonably be seen as someone identifying with a group of people who have in some cases been called domestic terrorists, and have targeted cops, i might be a lot more “charged” when said person has a shotgun pointed in my direction. that doesn’t make it right, but it’s something to consider.

          • L8Comer

            I wondered why they shot her first too. After 6 hours I wonder if they were just tired and wanted to wrap things up? That seems so harsh and dehumanizing…. but.. i just don’t know. I wonder if she shifted from sitting so long and they thought she was aiming?

            My feeling is, and i’m no expert, is that if she was going to shoot them she wouldn’t have waited 6 hours to do it. I also think if they wanted to kill her they wouldn’t have waited 6 hours to do that either. So i don’t know if something happened and maybe it was just the difference between an inexperienced officer and an experienced one who woulda kept calling her bluff. When it gets down to the wire like that, different officers have different training and different judgment. It’s like doctors in high stakes surgery… all things being equal they may make different decisions depending on their own experience and knowledge.. one patient may die another may live. But is the doctor with the dead patient criminal?

            I agree with HOB ultimately… that’s why I called for nuance. I can’t with people saying she’s 100% at fault when we don’t know what happened in those last moments except that they shot first and I can’t with people who want to act like she did nothing wrong. I have QTNA all around.

            • RaeNBow

              totally. this particular instance is way more complex when it comes to “fault” and “restraint” than instances of unarmed deaths, which is why i’m reserved. but there are soooooo many questions *sigh*

      • So? Last I checked, Black folk have the same right to be foolish as anyone else. It doesn’t get White guys killed.

        • RaeNBow

          You are absolutely right. We have a right to be foolish. But if your foolishness makes it more likely that you will be seen as a inherently violent and threatening to law enforcement, can there be surprise when they treat you as a violent threat?

          Also, i disagree with the statement that “it doesnt get white guys killed”. Because it does. See the washington post study/article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/final-tally-police-shot-and-killed-984-people-in-2015/2016/01/05/3ec7a404-b3c5-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.htmle.

          one paragraph from the article reads: {Over the past year, The Post found that the vast majority of those shot and killed by police were armed and half of them were white. Still, police killed blacks at three times the rate of whites when adjusted for the populations where these shootings occurred. And although black men represent 6 percent of the U.S. population, they made up nearly 40 percent of those who were killed while unarmed.}

          so, while killings of unnarmed citizens by police disproportionately affect Black men, killing of armed persons is more equitable. by all accounts, Ms. Gaines was armed. so, she actually falls in the minority of this subset.

        • This is why I find myself so upset about her death. Had she been white in Oregon, Texas, Oklahoma or something like that, folks would have patted her on the back for being armed. The police would have tirelessly negotiated with her and she would be alive.

          After so many of us have been shot just for being, why do we continue to think that “being good” will save us. It won’t. It never has.

          Black folk have a right to be wack-a-doos too!

        • blogdiz

          In Reality No we dont therein lies the problem

      • PinkRose

        I have NO problem speaking my “unpopular” peace! NONE!!

        • Kas

          No, no you don’t. :)

        • grownandsexy2

          That’s why I admire you. You speak your piece, unpopular or not. I look forward to your comments.

          • PinkRose

            Why thank you, I appreciate you saying that! :)

      • L8Comer

        “sovereign citizen” is that what the whole delegation of authority thing and the “I don’t participate in your laws statement” were all about?

        • RaeNBow

          yup. exactly

      • grownandsexy2

        I didn’t read anything about the Gaines case because some days I just can’t take it. What I learned, I read here.

    • The older I get and the more I see older dudes checking for younger women, I lose more faith in humanity. I think it’s because now I see dudes my age checking for college age chicks. I figure that my whole era for that crowd had passed with some success, but nope. I’m so so good.

      • PinkRose

        This ain’t nuthin’ new.

      • lunanoire

        I think it’s more extreme in big cities that have more anonymity, high cost of living, and late average marriage ages.

  • Brass Tacks

    I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on the situation.

    You touched on some valid points.

  • Kris

    It is pervasive. I figured out the pervasiveness of sexual assault or harassment in my teens. I could not find one of my friends who had not been touched in some way against their will whether it was molestation as a child, boys in the schools touching us without our consent, I have family members who have been or currently are in abusive relationships, and I even had one of my friends calling me in tears after having been raped by an ex-boyfriend. Pervasive is the appropriate word for it. I have so much anxiety with my daughter now being in middle school – that’s when I experienced boys in school grabbing and pinching me on my butt and chest. But I taught her what I wasn’t taught – that it’s wrong, to speak up and to defend herself.

    • Mizwest

      Middle School is definitely where I had my first experience with sexual harassment. I had to get my cousin (female) involved because he wouldn’t stop slapping my behind when asked repeatedly. My cousin threatened him and he stopped. Needless to say he never spoke to me again after that but I’ll take that over feeling violated.

      • Kris

        That was similar to me. I had one particular boy that’s locker was by mine that kept bothering me. I didn’t know to speak up. Then I got a boyfriend who I told what was happening and he took care of it. I later learned to hit myself and that took care of it in high school.

  • I’d like to suggest “The Hunting Ground” for anyone’s next netflix Documentary.

    • LMNOP

      What is it about? I just recently saw “The Mask You Live In” on netflix. It’s about the idea of masculinity and how rigidly we define “being a man” to everyone’s detriment.

      I’d recomend that too.

      • Will do.

        It’s about assaults on college women.

        • LMNOP

          Oh yeah, I heard of that actually, just couldn’t place the name. Did you see the documentary about chexual violence in the military?

          • The hidden war.. 2 hours of cringing. It is absolutely ridiculous.

            • LMNOP

              Your good with titles. Yeah, I had to pause it to cry a few times.

          • L8Comer

            I did. It was really eye opening and terrifying.

      • I’m on that.

  • grownandsexy2

    My dad always told me to never tolerate a man putting his hands on me. If he hits you once, he will hit you again he always preached. He didn’t have to tell me that though. That is not my personality. Can’t do it.

    • Jennifer

      I’m glad you feel that way.

      I had a friend — black woman — who grew up with that same idea. So, when she was suddenly in the position where her SO assaulted her but she never saw it coming, there was some embarrassment and shame surrounding it. She stayed longer than I ever thought she would and didn’t tell any of us for a long time.

      • miss t-lee

        This is very common. Normally you don’t find out until well after the fact.

        • Jennifer

          I brought that up because as much as I appreciate grownandsexy2’s perspective, it’s not much different from YTs who tell us, “I would never talk back to the police.” We know by now that sometimes you can do all of the right things and still end up dead.

          I don’t know the extent of that woman’s abusive relationship. According to the article Damon linked, her family didn’t even know about it. But, for whatever reason, her boyfriend brought HIS FRIEND in to help him do the job. He was going to hurt her no matter what it took.

          • grownandsexy2

            I don’t know why my reply is in a holding pattern. I wasn’t implying it wouldn’t happen to me because my dad gave me that advice. But I will say that I don’t believe it comes out of nowhere. There are signs.

            • Jennifer

              Moderation, help her out.

              I wasn’t implying that you were, and I hope to God you never experience it. It just struck a chord with me as I went back and read the article because I’ve heard that response to stories like this before.

              • grownandsexy2

                I wasn’t speaking to her situation specifically because I’m wasn’t privy to it. Whenever the topic of abuse comes up, I just always think of what my dad said over and over ad nauseum. It’s like the default with me. I’ve had my experience with an abuser but lived to talk about it. I won’t recount it here because Disqus is still holding my comment hostage from earlier and I’m not sure why. Something I did to boyfriend’s neck, maybe. LOL!!

            • Kas

              My guess is most times it’s a complete shock to the women, the first time.

              • grownandsexy2

                There are signs.

                • Kas

                  You would know better than me, so I acquiesce.

              • miss t-lee

                This goes both ways.

                • Brass Tacks

                  Thanks for saying this

                  • miss t-lee

                    I know folks of both genders who have been victims of DV.

                    • Brass Tacks

                      There are layers to everything. I don’t think this is the post for it, but DV has always been (to me at least) more nuanced than he/ she is abusive.

                      I’ve witnessed disagreements turn into arguments which then became fights. And honestly, neither party was exactly innocent. While it’s easy from the outside looking in to say: “well… I never.”

                      I’m just saying its usually not as black and white as it may seem to spectators.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Lots of layers, indeed.

                • Kas

                  ??

                  • miss t-lee

                    Meaning men are also victims of DV.

                    • Kas

                      True, but I would be lying if I said I had the same level of concern for them as I do for women (yes, I know sexist).

                    • miss t-lee

                      Well, I don’t know what to tell you.
                      Victims are victims.

                    • Kas

                      I know this on a rational level, but I am apparently still a work in progress.

                    • miss t-lee

                      I’m glad you can admit that.

                    • Kas

                      I don’t try and double down on my stupidity when discussing things of consequence.

                    • L8Comer

                      I can understand why you feel that way. Most men outmatch women in the strength and damage they can inflict. Idk how many women who abuse men end up killing them? Maybe it’s the same, but I don’t think so.
                      All the same DV is damaging to people.

                      It may be useful to consider this: Most survivors say the most painful things, the wounds that have the most lasting affect are the emotional and mental ones. Bruises fade, bones heal. Healing your mind is much more difficult than letting your body take care of a swelling, bruising, broken bones. And women can inflict just as much emotional damage as men

            • L8Comer

              I generally think there are signs too but not always. The trick is being able to discern those signs bc they can be really subtle. E.g. Is jealousy love or is it control? Do you love me like a human being or like an object? That can be really difficult to discern especially for young women and especially where society and maybe your family and friends give mixed messages about what love should look like.

              In college I was taking classes and training to be a peer I generally think there are signs too but not always. The trick is being able to discern those signs bc they can be really subtle. E.g. Is jealousy love or is it control? Do you love me like a human being or like an object? That can be really difficult to discern especially for young women and especially where society and maybe your family and friends give mixed messages about what love should look like.

              In college I was taking classes and training to be a peer counselor for a DV group and somehow I still ended up being in a DV rlshp. I ended up quiting the group which my bf at that time thought wI generally think there are signs too but not always. The trick is being able to discern those signs bc they can be really subtle. E.g. Is jealousy love or is it control? Do you love me like a human being or like an object? That can be really difficult to discern especially for young women and especially where society and maybe even your family and friends give mixed messages about what love should look like.

            • L8Comer

              generally think there are signs too but not always. The trick is being able to discern those signs bc they can be really subtle. E.g. Is jealousy love or is it control? Do you love me like a human being or like an object? That can be really difficult to discern especially for young women and especially where society and maybe your family and friends give mixed messages about what love should look like.

              • grownandsexy2

                I agree with most of what you said. Signs can be subtle. Trusting your instincts can be very valuable too. An ex taught me to trust mine and he never knew it.

          • miss t-lee

            Yeah. Definitely true. Abuse happens, and then shame sets in, so you never will really know the deal unless that person chooses to get help or leave.

            As far as the case, what kinda friend are you to go along with that kinda sh*t? Like–I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact. I hate people.

        • Kas

          That was the case with my cousin. After it’s all said and done, and the relationship is over, she let’s us know what was going on.

          • miss t-lee

            I’ve also had that same experience with a friend.

            • Kas

              The crazy thing is when I asked her why she didn’t tell anyone, she said she was afraid to . . . what would happen once we left. I thought to myself, why would you have stayed and what could he have done anyway with his limbs broken. Made me realize how alone women feel when they are in an abusive relationship.

              • miss t-lee

                Even if she would have told, there’s no guarantee that she would make it out with her life. Plus she might have wanted to keep y’all safe as well.
                Trying to leave an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time.

                • Kas

                  I will say it was complicated because they had a kid together. She did specifically mention worrying about her Dad getting hurt because he definitely would have gotten physical with the guy (understatement of the year)

                  • miss t-lee

                    Exactly. Who knows? He could’ve killed her, her kid, her father?

                    • Kas

                      All I know is the right answer can’t be to sit there and be abused.

                    • miss t-lee

                      It’s not, however—getting out of those situations aren’t cut and dry.

                    • Kas

                      I know.

                    • L8Comer

                      It can be really difficult. 1. You have to have resources 2. You have to KNOW you have resources. They are two very different things. And usually Abusers isolate you and get you believing you don’t have anyone or anything … They often control the things you do have too

                • Many women are killed because they did leave. Not everyone who makes it out stays alive.

                  • miss t-lee

                    True.

      • There is so much victim blaming in domestic assaults. Things are so much more difficult than “Just leave.”

        • Duff Soviet Union

          Exactly. Like, go where? That stuff costs money.

      • LMNOP

        This kind of stuff is much easier to deal with in the hypothetical, but there’s a lot involved in leaving an abusive partner. Not the least of which is that your highest chance of being killed is right after leaving. And this doesn’t apply to every situation, but love isn’t a light switch you can just turn off when it’s the “right” time to do it.

        You never know how you’re going to react to a situation until you’re in it.

        • L8Comer

          This is spot on

      • grownandsexy2

        Reminds me of an acquaintance. There was some shame and embarrassment in her situation also. She never told a soul . . . . . . . . . . . .until she killed him. She worked for an attorney who got her off.

    • Junegirl627

      Your dad was right.

    • L8Comer

      Your dad is absolutely right. It might even take a year but I do believe once a man hits you he always will.

      Before it even gets to that point tho, I tell all the women I know if he’s at all controlling, possessive, or jealous, or even a bit misogynistic sprint in the other direction. I know some people like the jealousy and possessiveness but that mess terrifies me.. In my mind I’m just like “okay you’re gonna hit me one day”

      • Kas

        I had to pull a guy off his date because she said I had a nice azz (we were on a double date at the time).

        • L8Comer

          Wow. insecure much?

          • Kas

            Very much, apparently

      • Mizwest

        This is so true….if I become afraid of what you might do….its time to walk away.

      • JennyJazzhands

        One time, this guy that I had been talking to yelled at me in front of all of our friends because he thought my outfit was provocative. (Jeans, tshirt and flip flops btw). I left and ignored his calls from then on. Found out the next day that one of his friends commented on my figure in aforementioned blue jeans and that was why he flipped out.
        He was very controlling and drank way too much, it didn’t take much to imagine where that could have gone.

        • L8Comer

          I’m so glad you knew enough to know that was not a behavior / state of mind that coulda been curbed by you. If he was popping off like that so early, it’s scary to think where things would go.

    • L8Comer

      And I think sometimes no matter how you’re “built” or your personality ne hit from someone you believed loved you and who you love too can break you. It changes u and it’s a mind fuck

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