An news item that received little in the way of national attention took place this week. The sentencing of Rene Lopez to 1,503 years in prison for raping his daughter over a period of four years. Convicted of 185 counts of felony rape, he showed no remorse and actually blamed his daughter for the crimes.
It’s one of the most horrific incidents of rape, sexual assault and domestic abuse ever recorded. This is still domestic violence awareness month and the fact of coincidental timing of this incident only shows how serious a problem this plague of violence against women continues to be.
Child sexual abuse is not rare. Research indicates that as many as 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18.1 However, because child sexual abuse is by its very nature secretive, many of these cases are never reported.
If you think a child is trying to tell you they are being sexually abused, be supportive, calm and caring. Do not show anger as this does not help the victim. If you feel they are in immediate danger contact 911 and or Child Protective Services.
Real men do not only protect all women, but they also stand up for those who are most defense-less Our children. Our sons and our daughters…
NATIONAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE HELPLINE 1-866-FOR-LIGHT (866-367-5444)
The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war.
That is an incredibly disturbing fact. More so for the deadly subtle truth that we as a nation can be so manipulated, controlled and distracted by so many forms of media that those types of facts can escape the profound truth it represents.
3 women a day are murdered by a current or former male lover. 18,000 killed by men in DV disputes since 2003. 18.5 million mental health care visits due to intimate partner violence every year. 10 million children exposed to this type of violence in the homes every year.
Boys don’t hit girls. This proverb was taught, instructed and conditioned into me as a child by my parents and I grew up during a time when girls were told that if a man beats you, that means he really loves you. Sadly, that myth was more prevalently told to girls than the proverb that was taught to me.
The vast majority of boys who witness the abuse of their Mom never received the counseling and therapy necessary to alleviate the damage done to their psyche and character makeup. Therefore, let us begin from the beginning to teach every boy that he is not to ever hit a girl, no matter what he sees at home. Let every Dad pledge teaching this truth to his son by keeping his home free of any domestic abuse.
Well raised boys don’t hit girls and real men don’t hit women.
We are not only what we see, but we are what we hear. Does music influence misogyny in men? Does it influence our ideals, perceptions and attitudes towards women? Speaking for myself I know that music played a tremendous role in my thoughts and feelings towards women.
My experiences as a younger man coincided with hearing some of the greatest love songs containing lyrics I sang over and over again. Whether it was The Stylistics “You Are Everything, And Everything Is You, Kenny Roger’s “Lady”, Heatwave’s “Always & Forever”, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, Teddy Pendergrass “Turn Off The Lights”, Luther Vandross “A House Is Not A Home” or Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Would You Mind” or “After The Love Is Gone”.
These songs laid a foundation within me for romance and to lovingly pursue, protect and provide for the woman of my dreams. These songs also made the women in my community feel special and always like a Lady. Raunchy blues songs existed for the last 100 years, but their content was never at the forefront of the music industry to be promoted.
Today the music managers of the entertainment industry push and seemingly only promote music that is vile, denigrating and misogynistic towards women. Calling them B’s & Hoes is even more tragic when female artists take part in this demonic ritual.
Although you have christian based hip-hop, rap and salsa artists out here today with some incredible music and messages to give, they are virtually ignored and banned from mainstream radio. Why is it that Black and Brown artists are pushed as purveyors of denigrating and vile music that tears down the beauty of women, but clean country music artists are given unlimited promotion in spite of the many country music artists who have vile and misogynistic lyrics in their music. An obvious agenda is at hand.
I feel the most frustrated for the parents of today who must be overly concerned about what their children are listening to. They certainly cannot police their given devices 24 hours a day, so open communication with their children is very key for the sake of guiding their children morals, principles and ethics.
Let the music you invite into your soul be wholesome to the mind, healing to the soul, edifying to the spirit and passionate to your heart.
Remember, we are not only what we see, but we are also what we hear…
Although they procreated the black male bodies that were economically and physically exploited by slavery, the continued marginalisation of Black women remains insidious by way of domestic violence today, as much it did through Slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow beginning in this nation over four hundred years ago.
To be marginalized means to determine either an individual or a group as insignificant and subsequently treat them a outsiders. Domestic violence related homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women from 15 to 45. Black women comprise 8 percent of the population, but accounted for 29 percent of all female victims of intimate partner violence. Among 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.
As horrific as these statistics are, it may still be inaccurate as many homicides go under reported for a multitude of reasons.
For example, abuse is often not reported due to mistrust between the African-American community and law enforcement. Abuse victims of Black male breadwinners of the household rarely if ever report the abuse and as such have to deal with a complex form of rigid black male masculinity. Black female prostitutes are too often written off and assumed killed by profession related incidents and never from domestic violence.
Interpersonal abuse dynamics with Black couples are not much different than others, just too often lacking the professional therapeutic resources that may be available in other communities, i,e., professional counselling, women shelters, support groups, etc;.
For men, there are many anger management techniques you can employ to heal your attitudes and methodically change yourself from being a potential abuser to a man who is well loved and respected. Take the following simple steps as a preventive action in order to keep your anger in check:
Defuse anger and possible conflict by taking a healthy walk before an argument begins with your wife/intimate partner.
Embrace healthy and positive confrontation, but always with a respectful tone of voice.
Never repress or stuff your feelings.
Work on your self-worth by way of a productive hobby, pursuing additional education courses or through physical fitness and exercising.
Mentally practice seeing yourself always in peace and actively pursue it. Taking time to meditate and nurture spirituality offsets tendencies of violent behavior.
There are many more creative and productive ways for us as men to practice a non-violent lifestyle. These 5 options open the possibility for you to change by challenging daily negative habits with new principles of behavior.
Black women cannot afford to be marginalised and Black men cannot provide free tickets by way of abusing them to this unwanted event. When one tries the failed attempt to name one historical Black male or female leader/role model that was not birthed by a woman, the irrefutable logic to protect and defend Black women and not destroy them becomes crystal clear.
As Black men, we must seek to creatively devise ways of protecting Black women by collectively think-tanking new strategies and tactics to counteract domestic abuse. We must galvanise and comprise a visible and formidable force to challenge those Black men who abuse Black women on a daily basis.
Lastly, we as Black men must realise no external efforts to breach and destroy our communities can succeed without an internal concession by us to allow it to happen.
Our beautiful Black women are not some invisible statistical thing to be abused, neglected and marginalised. They are a creative and incomparable gift from God to be spiritually prayed for, physically protected, emotionally valued and highly prized for their invaluable worth to us as Black men, to our children and to the world.
Every minute, 20 people are physically abused by a romantic partner in the U.S., according to The Center for Disease Control numbers. This means as many as 10 million women and men experience physical abuse in a given year.
1o million people in a given year in just the U.S alone is a huge number, then when you multiply that by nations around the world that number easily reaches over 100 million. It’s an easy enough number to point to but not an easy subject to discuss.
It makes many people uncomfortable and the awkwardness of even beginning the conversation leaves many stumped in knowing what to say. Were vulnerable as humans when it comes to discussing the ugliness of human behavior, but abuse cannot be normalised through silence. It must be brought to light in order to reverse the stigma that protects it.
It must be talked about if were truly going to address this cancer to the culture and forget about the shame to the brain people try to avoid. We cannot remain immune to the abuse of victims even in silence. The damage to one affects us all as a people. Stigmas prosper when good people do nothing. Don’t let it happen on your watch.
Speak Up Against Domestic Violence…!!!
Music: “Love Is Always On My Mind” – by Russel Blake.
I’ll challenge any emotion, fight every fear and kick the butt of anything threatening the success of me as a man. I can only speak to my testosterone-driven aggression as a man in making that statement. However, I can attest through experience of personally knowing many of my fellow men to wholeheartedly feel the same.
Modern psychology say’s the driving force behind men who abuse women are the repressed emotions these men carry. As a result of feeling threatened for any number of reasons from childhood to adulthood, these repressed emotions spark the dynamic of aggressive behavior as well as verbal and physical abuse towards their partners.
In the event event there is any validity to this theory, in now living in a world where communication causes more individual isolation than ever before, we need more opportunities for men to communicate. Specifically in an environment where they won’t feel judged or ridiculed for expressing whatever repressed feelings of intimidation and/or vulnerability that may exist.
It is much better to let off steam than to allow the valve to burst. Abusing your wife/intimate partner is an outdated, immoral and violent way of externalising stress. It has deadly consequences and can irreparably and forever shift family dynamics.
Find a man you can trust and confide in and share rather than swear. Express rather than repress. In the long run, you’ll be much happier that you did.
There comes a time when shock is a word that’s just not appropriate enough to describe the feeling when a horrible revelation is made known to you. Something that’s been taking place right under your nose and all of a sudden it’s brought to your attention not by an email or a text message or even from a friend. It comes knocking at your door in the form of a uniformed police officer informing you that your daughter is dead.
From that point on everything that’s said comes across like the teacher speaking in the Charlie Brown cartoon, blah, blah….blah, blah, blah… The officer informs you she was apparently killed in a domestic violence incident involving her boyfriend. The forthcoming details begin to pale in comparison to the screams of agony now coming from her Mother and you as her Father can only stand there frozen in a mixture of emotions from sadness to grieving, anger to disappointment. If I only knew she was being abused is the thought rolling over and over in your mind…
Too many families find out all too late of a family member who was being abused by a husband, a boyfriend or even a work colleague.
Domestic violence often plays out in the workplace. For instance, a husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend might make threatening phone calls to their intimate partner or ex-partner. Or the worker may show injuries from physical abuse at home.
If you witness a cluster of the following warning signs in the workplace, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse:
Bruises and other signs of impact on the skin, with the excuse of “accidents” Depression, crying Frequent and sudden absences Frequent lateness Frequent, harassing phone calls to the person while they are at work Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger Decreased productivity and attentiveness Isolation from friends and family Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car)
Know the warning signs and learn to recognise all red flags of abusive behavior upon a potential victim. Never be to apprehensive to question nor too proud to believe it can’t happen to your loved one.
The worst feeling in the world is attending a funeral with an open casket of a loved one, when a timely intervention could have saved their life and brought to light that which was hidden.