What We Won’t Talk About-Abuse

Today’s topic will deal with various types of abuse-mental, physical, sexual, and emotional are a few types.  Most abuse comes at the hands of people we know (parents, extended family, siblings, family friends, spouses, etc.).  Predators come in all ages, races, genders, and types.  Back in the day, as a culture, black people didn’t talk about abuse.  If Lillie Mae was getting touched by Uncle Bo, no one discussed it-parents just kept their kids from that family member.  And it was nothing if a woman was getting hit by her husband.  They would patch her up and take her and the kids in, but when that man came to get them, they went back home.  Another issue is when children are getting mistreated, no one knows what to do or how to handle it. 

Let’s think about Mo’Nique.  While promoting the film, “Precious“, the actress shared her own story of sexual abuse at the hands of her brother.   When Mo’Nique told her mother, her response was akin to, “I didn’t know what to do; you were both my children”.  On the flip side, I know of a young lady who was approached by a family member at 6 years old.  She was able to run away before anything happened and brave enough to tell her mother. 

Another form that no one really discusses is emotional abuse.  This can come in many different ways.  I know of a woman who was emotionally abused by her father.  If she did something he didn’t like, he was quick to call her “stupid” and yell and do anything else he felt was necessary to belittle her and lower her self-esteem.  He wanted her to grow up dependent on him and not able to think on her own.  Luckily for this young lady she shared what was happening in her home and was able to leave that situation. 

The sad thing regarding abuse is that the abuser was most likely abused as a child, and the abuser preys on those who appear weaker than he or she.  With children, it’s very important that parents teach them what’s appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as touching, speech, etc.  If a child feels uncomfortable with ANYONE, they should go tell an adult they trust immediately.  And if that adult doesn’t believe them, they need to go tell someone else until someone believes their story.  When it comes to adults, men and women need to realize their worth and know that they do not deserve to be mistreated in anyway. 

I’m glad that people like Don Lemon, Mo’Nique, Oprah and other celebrities are coming out and sharing their stories of abuse.  Their situations are very unfortunate, but hopefully their willingness to open up about their abuse will prompt others to share their stories.  And if we believe a person is in an abusive situation, we MUST do our part to encourage him or her to tell the proper authorities so the abuser can be stopped.  Until next time, I”m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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2 Comments

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