By Toni Spearman
This blog is going to be difficult for me. I can tell you that right off the bat.
I’m exasperated by an unsettling dilemma; domestic violence against African American men in our society. Yes, the brothers suffer violent situations at the hand of their women sometimes, too. Although females are the usual victims of abuse, there’s an ever-growing concern for domestic assault against men!
I’m not belittling the victimization of women, but what about our brothers who are intimidated, disrespected, pushed around and crippled at the hand of a controlling, black woman (or any woman for that matter).
Before you judge me, hear me out.
Strength is a powerful thing, and in the black culture, that is one quality our women are praised for, our strength. Where did it come from, our ancestors, difficult times, slavery, God? Perhaps all the above.
But when a strong black woman, (of which I am) takes her strength and power and uses it improperly, she steps out of her natural order. Women, by design, are sensual, sexual, soft, intriguing and mysterious. We were created that way, it appeals to the instinct of man. They pursue us because they crave us.
However, that same exotic woman can be strong, independent, tenacious and vivacious which does not equate to controlling, aggressive or abusive. These are totally different qualities. A woman can speak her mind without emasculating her man.
Domestic violence among our black men DOES occur but is not readily talked about or broadcast. I believe it’s because men are ‘supposed to be’ strong, leaders, head of the household, etc. and if one is abused behind closed doors, he dares not disclose it thus appearing ‘weak’.
So why do men stay in abusive relationships? Here are a few reasons:
· They are ashamed or embarrassed
· They are in denial
· They stay for the sake of their children
· They have limited or no resources (nowhere else to go)
Such was the case of a young black man who recently passed away in Oklahoma. He suffered many years of abuse at the hand of several different women. Was he weak because he did not ask for any help? Was he less than a man because he remained faithful until the day he died? I think not.
Abuse is wrong, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender or race. No one has the human right to assault, victimize, threaten or torture another individual. If you are a man or woman or know someone in an abusive relationship, get help. Please! There are shelters, hotlines and resources available. Life is too short to live in fear.
(Dedicated to my only brother, Robert Erick Green, RIP) God loved him enough to take him to a place of eternal rest and peace.)
SBC Correspondent Toni Spearman of Midland, Texas, is an author and editor; her newly published memoir, The 2 Faces of a Preacher’s Wife, is available on BarnesandNoble.com and amazon.com.
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