All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"
Every time my boyfriend and I discuss Chris Brown, I feel a bit ashamed. He can’t seem to understand why any woman would support him, his career or buy his music. And seeing as how, I’m always publicly and privately disapproved of and bashed his dysfunctional and misogynistic behavior but purchased “Drunk Texting” and “New Flame” for my personal collection, I can’t really talk.
It’s a strange relationship I have with Chris Brown. I really root for him, hoping and praying that he’ll do and be better one day. And there have certainly been signs that he’s working towards that…for a couple of weeks. Then something else will happen. His girlfriend will finally get tired of his shenanigans and he rolls up on her at the club, threatening her friend. Talk show hosts will comment on the personal life he’s all but invited us into and all of sudden he’s ready to talk about their looks and rumored sexual history on the internet.
For whatever reason, the victims of his antics are always women. You don’t have to be a student or a fan of Chris Brown to know that, despite his words, his actions clearly point to the undeniable fact that he has an issue with women.
So, how is it that women continue to support him?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but as I alluded to before, I keep hoping he’ll do better. I keep hoping that for not only Chris but the men in my own family. There’s a legacy of abuse in my family, so I know what it’s like to love the men who hurt the women closest to them. It’s an act of splitting, the grandfather, uncle, or cousin you love from the husband, boyfriend or father who can’t seem to control his temper or have an argument without ending it with his hands. And even though you’re trying desperately to separate these two men from themselves, you hope and pray for the day when that type of cognitive dissonance, those mental gymnastics will no longer be necessary.
It’s a little different for Chris Brown, seeing as how I don’t have a personal relationship with him. But still, appreciating his talent, I can see that he’s two people as well.
This morning, I came across the trailer for his upcoming documentary. Unlike the last one, where Chris was going to tell us about the love he had for two different women, this one features celebrities vouching for him, talking about his talent but also features a seemingly introspective Brown talking about his abuse of Rihanna in 2009.
You can watch the trailer below.
Most strikingly, he says: “I felt like a f*cking monster. I was thinking about suicide and everything else. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. I just was getting high.”
Then his mother, Joyce Hawkins said, “That was the worst day of my life and probably his life. I felt like I was going to lose my child.”
My first reaction to the trailer was intrigue. Kind of like how you feel when Disney or Marvel announces that they’re going to release some type of prequel that explains how the villain got to be the way they are now. You go in thinking and believing one thing and leave out with a totally different perspective.
It was my sister who helped me see it another way.
Many of you remember, just a couple of weeks ago, Chris Brown was very vocal about Kehlani and the rumors about her cheating on her ex boyfriend basketball player Kyrie Irving. In case you missed it, he wrote:
Girls be mad at a n*gga for f*cking around wit b*tches but her DMs got more names than the Declaration of Independence #YEAHIMTHROWINGSHADE
They look like they have stank sex
There is no attempting suicide. Stop flexing for the gram. Doing shit for sympathy so them comment under your pics don’t look so bad.
OK IM DONE. Guess she gon have to watch the games from a real “box” now. “THE TELEVISION” #OHB “OUTTA HERE BIH”
I don’t have to list Chris Brown’s history of infidelity. There’s an entire child walking around as living proof of that. But that’s what makes his thoughts about Kehlani so interesting. A woman is merely suspected of cheating, ruthlessly shamed on the internet to the point of contemplating/attempting suicide and Chris Brown takes that opportunity to publicly condemn her. How ironic. Chris Brown knows what it’s like to be associated with scandal and shame. According to him, he even knows what it’s like to have suicidal thoughts. And while it’s acceptable for him to release a documentary detailing his own struggle, Kehlani is “flexing for the gram.”
His logic, or lack thereof, and missing compassion is truly astounding.
This morning I was calling this hypocrisy. But my coworker is sure that it’s something more than that. We all have our moment of hypocrisy. This here, is some type of mental abnormality that Chris simply refuses to acknowledge and treat with any type of consistency or accountability to himself and now the daughter he’s raising.
“I’ve Been Engaged A Couple Of Times” Tamron Hall Says Sister’s Death Makes Her More Cautious In Relationships
We’ve written about Tamron Hall discussing the domestic violence that ultimately took her sister Renate’s life before. What we haven’t discussed is how witnessing her sister endure such a tragedy has affected Tamron’s own life.
In a recent interview with People, Hall recounts the day she witnessed the affects of one of her sister’s abusive relationships. Tamron was upstairs, in her own home, when she heard a scuffle downstairs. When she got down there, she saw that the room had been torn up and his sister was bruised. She asked the man to leave. He did and she started asking her sister why she stayed in this situation.
“I said to her, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘You’re too beautiful. Too smart. You can do better.’ All the things I’ve learned now are wrong [from domestic abuse advocates], I did them all.”
After research and her advocacy with other domestic violence programs like Safe Horizon and Day One, Hall has learned that the best thing to do when you learn that someone is in this type of relationship is to not judge them for staying, but point them in the direction of people, support groups and organizations that can actually help.
Renate continued the relationship with that abusive man.
Sadly, in 2004, Renate was found bludgeoned to death, floating face down in a backyard pool of her home in Houston, Texas. The man she was dating, was later named the only person of interest in the investigation of her murder. But there was a lack of evidence; and as a result, no arrests were made and the case is still an unresolved homicide.
While Hall has said that she’s felt guilt over her sister’s death, wondering if she had done enough, she’s also used the tragedy and her platform as a way to help others. “I’ve been given an opportunity to make a difference.”
While Hall recognizes the impact she can have now, there was a time when she felt it might not have been her place to do so. “For a long time I was hesitant about sharing our story. I didn’t want to be another well-known person saying, ‘Look what happened to me and my family.’ But then I said, screw that. I can save a life.’”
And while Tamron has used her sister’s story to inspire others, Renate’s tragic fate still greatly influences her personal life in both positive and negative ways.
“It hasn’t shaped my life, but it’s given me courage I didn’t know I had.”
It’s also affected her romantic life.
“I’ve been engaged a couple times. I never bought a dress, but I was close, in Vegas and another time in Cozumel. I chickened out both times. Thank God no one was abusive, but [my sister’s situation] makes me cautious.”
Even more than her sister’s death, there are other elements that have kept her from tying the knot. “I have an incredible phobia of divorce.” People also said the demands of her career have also kept her from settling down. Hall says, “I’m sad about it some days.”
“I know it’s rare to have a single woman on morning TV who doesn’t have a child, and I’m Black! But I love my job.”
But don’t take that to mean that she’s given up.
“I date, don’t get me wrong. I’m not up here filing my fingernails on a Friday night. I want to find someone to share my life with.”
She also wants a child.
“I’ve not given up having a child. But I hope whatever route of parenthood I choose, whether it’s adoption or I’m able to conceive, I just hope that I’m able to give someone as beautiful a life as my parents gave me.”
If you grew up with a Black mother, you likely heard the threat that she would knock your teeth out if you ever disrespected her. And Angie Stone’s daughter, Diamond Stone, learned the hard way, that the threat was anything but idle.
We all remember the horrific images Diamond released last year of the teeth her mother had knocked, clean out of her mouth. (Angie later told Steve Harvey that Diamond’s teeth were already rotting and brittle, so it didn’t take much.)
And while Angie Stone has been very clear about her specific involvement in that altercation, never denying what she did, a grand jury decided that she will not face criminal charges for the violence she inflicted upon her child.
According to our sister site, Bossip, a DeKalb County grand jury, in Georgia, declined to indict 54-year-old Stone for assaulting 30-year-old Diamond.
You may remember the argument turned physical last March as the two women were sharing Angie’s home, along with Diamond’s children. According to a police report, Angie admitted to officers that she struck Diamond in the face with a metal jewelry stand after yelling at her to get her children under control.
Angie was facing domestic aggravated assault charges but the jury decided the case need not progress any further.
Bossip reached out to Diamond to see what she felt about the case being dismissed. Turns out, she had mixed feelings about it.
“I didn’t want her to go to jail but I thought there would be some type of reprimand.”
She also wished the judge or jury had recommended counseling for she and her mother, in light of their strained past.
“I just want to be clear that just because she was not brought up on charges, doesn’t erase what she did. That’s the main thing. I’m ok, my kids are okay. Everybody is doing well. But [I don’t want people to think] because no charges were brought, that it was fictitious, or it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. I don’t want to be forgotten about.”
Diamond, who recently moved out of her mother’s home, said that their relationship is much better these days and she is now working on a singing career of her own.
We were discussing this story in the office, and honestly I can’t say I disagree with the grand jury’s decision.
In our initial story, Stone told police that her striking Diamond in the face with a metal object, was in retaliation for Diamond punching her in the face several times.
None of us were there and we’ll likely never know what truly transpired that night. (Though, in their sit down with T.D. Jakes Diamond did admit that she cusses at both her mother and grandmother.) But I know that if I even looked like I was going to put my hands on my mother, one of the potential consequences is not only getting my teeth knocked out, but death. And I don’t say that jokingly.
As a girl and then adolescent, my mother popped me, (open handed slap on my lips) for simply rolling my eyes or saying something slick out my mouth, on more than one occasion. She doesn’t tolerate disrespect. Even now that I’m a grown woman, I don’t doubt that she still might run up.
But honestly, I would never even dream of hitting her. Not only would it not end in my favor, this is the woman who brought me into this world. If she never did another thing for me, she deserves, at the very least, not to be attacked by her own child.
Now, I know that not everyone is close to their mother. Every mother isn’t maternal or even kind and decent to their children. Still, unless it’s an issue of self defense, I can’t see why a physical altercation would ever be necessary. And if you know you and your mother can’t seem to get along with one another, why move into her house, as a grown woman? Perhaps that was Diamond’s only option, in which case, as a mother herself, she should have played it extra cool. Because even if Angie didn’t knock her teeth out, she would have been well within her rights to allow the children to stay and put Diamond out on the street. Nobody wants to be attacked in their own home, no matter who it is.
If the jury was really indicative of the population in DeKalb County, Georgia, there were bound to be some Black people represented, who might have been likely to share my sentiments. I’m well aware that, as someone who is vehemently against domestic violence, I could be incredibly hypocritical in my stance. But my conditioning won’t allow me to see how Diamond doesn’t at least bear some of– if not most of– the burden in this situation.
Really, while most of us will never support domestic violence, what should be the punishment for a mother who retaliates against an adult child, who attempted to fight her, in her own home?
Grammy Award-winning gospel recording artist James Fortune pled guilty to assaulting his wife, Cheryl Fortune, in a Texas courtroom Tuesday, ABC 13 reports. Back in October of 2014, the 37-year-old was arrested after he struck Cheryl with a wooden vanity stool inside of their home.
James entered a guilty plea to third-degree felony assault as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He was sentenced to five days behind bars, five years’ probation, and 175 hours of community service. Per the plea bargain, he will also be required to complete a “batterer’s intervention” program and of course, he must stay far away from his wife.
During his court appearance, a prosecutor shared Cheryl’s victim impact statement, which read:
“I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist, I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future.”
This is the second time James has found himself on the wrong side of the law for behaving violently against a relative. In 2002, he accepted a plea deal for six years’ probation after he placed his 4-year-old stepson in hot water as a form of punishment. The then toddler sustained burns over 40 percent of his body.
So far, James has not commented on his recent guilty plea.
Facebook is used for a lot of things. Meeting new people, catching up with old friends, promoting businesses and organizations, and for some people, being a troll. But in the case of 18-year-old Nakasia James, she used the social media platform to confess to her followers and anyone else who may be interested, that she allegedly killed her boyfriend, 21-year-old Dorian Powell.
According to the Los Angeles Times, police in San Bernadino, Calif. are searching for James after police were called Monday at 2:30 a.m. about a domestic disturbance, which ended with a woman stabbing her boyfriend. But by the time police arrived at Powell’s apartment, he was dead at the scene, and James was already gone. According to a statement from the San Bernadino police, they are unaware of her whereabouts after the fact and are searching for the 18-year-old.
“Nakasia is aware that she is being sought in connection with this homicide. At this time it does appear to be related to a domestic disturbance inside the apartment.”
And that’s what a woman with the same name and Facebook profile as James (Nakasia “Macc” James) said occurred when sharing her confession on Monday. A profile police say is definitely James’s account. She said that she stabbed Powell in self-defense.
According to KTLA News, police said there are no other reported incidents of violence related to Powell’s residence. They are urging her to come forward.
After being released from the Baltimore Ravens for punching his then-fiancée (now wife), Janay, in the face unconscious, Ray Rice has had a lot of time to think about his actions that has been a prominent point of controversy for the NFL.
During a recent visit to The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday (Dec. 17), Rice talked all things family and football – his two passions. “I do want to play football again and I’m not ready to give up,” he said, but even after being reinstating there haven’t been any real offers on the table for him.
Aside from on the field talk, Rice spoke openly about being charged with a third-degree aggravated assault. In particular, Rice harped on the fact that he’s dreading have the inevitable talk about his actions to his three-year-old daughter, Rayven.
“I have a daughter, and I couldn’t imagine that happening to my daughter,” Rice said. ” And that’s my lifelong journey for her, to raise her the right way, to make her understand that Daddy made the worst decision of my life, and to protect her from that.”
“The moment is going to have to come when I have to speak to her. She still asks about football, and I still have to craft enough responses to help her understand why I’m not playing I’m not ready to have that talk with her yet, but when she’s old enough,” he added. “She knows how to use the iPad and the tablet, and would hate for here to learn how to type in my name, and the first thing that comes up is the video without having me to explain it to her.”
Thoughts? Watch the video below.
“He Literally Put A Bullet In The Gun And Pointed It At My Face.” Christina Milian Tells The Story Of Her Abusive Relationship
Earlier this week, we reported about Christina Milian and her mother Carmen, discussing a past abusive relationship. Even though many of us recognize the prevalence of domestic violence, it’s always shocking when someone we know or a public figure comes out saying they’ve endured this type of trauma.
In this week’s episode of “Christina Milian Turned Up,” the singer shared more details about what she went through as a teenager.
“So I was 17, going into 18, and I met a boy and he had this sarcasm about him that I just thought was super funny,” she explained to author Tanya Williams on the show. “But that sarcasm turned out to be something a little bit more dark, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”
Like she and her mother discussed, Milian told Williams that there were times when she wished she could get away but felt that she couldn’t. In the clip we posted, Milian’s mom, Carmen, said that her boyfriend threatened to injury her family if she left him.
Milian shared one particularly horrific incident.
“He literally put a bullet in the gun and pointed it at my face. Staring down the barrel of a gun is the scariest thing you could ever experience. It’s not funny, it’s not for the movies. There’s a chance of life or death in one click, that’s it.”
After her mother bought her a ticket to New York, she “woke up one day and realized that my family was just trying to help me. And gave myself the courage and the strength to not call him and invite him back into my life.”
Seems like Christina Milian is revealing something surprising about herself and her family every other week on her reality show “Christina Milian Turned Up.” First she told us that she loved Lil Wayne even more than she loved her husband; and now, on a more serious note, she talked about her plans to promote a new app called “Stop Attack.”
The app is programmed to alert authorities and close family and friends when a victim is being attacked in the home. Not only that, it also records what’s going on in the house from the time it is activated. This last part is invaluable considering it can be particularly challenging to prove that any type of abuse transpired in a private, home setting.
Christina Milian signed on to be a partner for the app and was discussing it on the reality show.
As the conversation continues, Christina casually mentions that she could have used it when she was in an abusive relationship. And she and her mother remember that horrific time in their lives.
Christina: “And I thought about even when I was in that abusive relationship back in the day…”
Her mom Carmen: “I remember he instilled that fear in you that if you left him, he would hurt us. And because of that, you stayed in it. But like literally to the point where you know you almost lost your life.”
Carmen in confessional: I am so proud of her for doing “Stop Attack.” This is something she can connect with and I’m glad she’s going to help others because honestly, if she would have been able to tape him back in the day, we would have had evidence.
Carmen: You had bruises and you were covering them up all the time. It was the hardest thing to go through… was watching you. It’s been so long since I even thought about it. It was so hard to deal with you being like that and you just kept staying. A mother to sit there and think that any day now I was going to get that phone call that you were gone.
Carmen in confessional: It’s one of the hardest things as a parent is to watch your child go through an abuse and she was a grown adult that just kept choosing to go back.
You can watch their full conversation in the video below.
Earlier today, we reported that Erica Mena accused her ex fiancé Bow Wow of beating women and she hoped that type of karma didn’t get passed down to his daughter–his seed as she put it.
TheShadeRoom caught her leaving a more damning comment than the one we initially reported, saying:
“Now he can go back to beating her ass again. I’m good on dealing with his Little man complex.”
Mena was referencing the mother of Bow Wow’s child, Joie Chavis. She also mentioned that she had a photo that would change his life. Hmm…
Well, the abuse claim is a strong one.
So strong in fact, that Chavis had to step forward and refute the claim.
She stepped into The Shade Room to leave a comment.
“Beat? When? Where? I NEVER say anything but this sh*t is just unacceptable, and ridiculous to say the least. Shad has never laid a finger on me, so dead it!”
She also said that she and Bow Wow are not getting back together. They are simply hanging out as friends.
According to TheShadeRoom:
“Y’all gotta chill with these long a** paragraphs. It’s not that deep bruh, and we are not together. We are just friends, and I am single. I know it’s probably weird to some who have f*cked up relationships and can’t co-parent but that’s not the case here.”
Those might be her intentions but we’ll see what Shad has up his sleeve.
— Maya Schenwar (@MayaSchenwar) December 8, 2015
This past summer, in the early morning hours of July 5, 23-year-old Naomi Freeman was pulled from her car by her hair before being punched 25 times by her boyfriend John Perry.
According to the Chicago Tribune, another person had to separate Perry from Freeman. When she got up, she got back into her 1999 Dodge Caravan minivan. She pulled into a parking spot and then made a U-turn.
She drove toward her boyfriend, who was still on the sidewalk. He moved out of the way and Freeman hit a wrought-iron fence.
She reversed the van back onto the street. Perry jumped in front of the van, daring him to try and run him over again.
Freeman drove toward Perry, striking him before continuing to drive on the sidewalk. She eventually drove through a fence and into a yard.
Freeman left the van and fled from the scene on foot. Perry was still stuck under the vehicle.
People tried, unsuccessfully, to remove him from underneath the vehicle. Later, he died at Mount Sinai Hospital from mechanical asphyxiation from being struck and pinned under the van.
And the whole incident was caught on video.
According to Freeman’s attorney, Steve Pick, this was not the first time Perry had hit his girlfriend. He argued that based on Perry’s history of abuse, she didn’t have a choice when she ran over her boyfriend.
He said, “This person didn’t go to that address with the intent to hurt anybody. She was in fear for her life and her safety.”
Prosecutors argue that Freeman simply could have driven away.
Pick also asked that her $500,000 bail be lowered. It was reduced to $350,000 but Freeman didn’t have anyone who could pay the $35,000.
In an attempt to get Freeman released in time to spend Christmas with her one and two-year-old children, ChicagoBond.org has started a fundraiser to raise the $35,000 bond.
They included this letter from Freeman herself.
Someday I will need to explain to my kids why they don’t have their father. I never meant to hurt him that day, I only acted in fear for my life. I have to forgive myself, but not for surviving, and I don’t think I should be punished for defending my life. I have to get home to my kids as soon as I can and be the best mother I can be. I need a second chance at life for them and for myself.
— Naomi Freeman, 12/6/2015, Cook County Jail
The ChicagoBond said that not only was Freeman pregnant at the time, she was also suffering from chronic autoimmune disease that affects her joints.
Freeman, who has been in jail for the past 6 months, is also living with Lupus and the stress of pre-trial detention.
$35,000 would mean she would be reunited with her family and have proper maternal health care.
The ChicagoBond org argues:
“Naomi chose to survive an attack by an abusive partner. We know from Naomi and other eyewitnesses that Naomi was pulled from a vehicle by her hair and slammed to the ground. Once on the ground, Naomi was beaten and punched in the face no fewer than 20 times. During this assault, Naomi was in the early stages of pregnancy and suffering a chronic autoimmune disease that affects her joints. Sadly, this was not the first time Naomi had been assaulted by this man. Had Naomi not acted in self-defense, it is likely that she would be dead. Instead, like many other women and girls incarcerated right now, who are disproportionately Black, she survived and was punished for it.”
They are comparing Freeman to women like Marissa Alexander, Cierra Finkley, Eisha Low, and Paris Knox saying that Freeman killed Perry as a way to escape her abuser and survive.
Aside from the fact that both women were involved in abusive relationships and decided to take a stand, there seem to be few similarities. Alexander only fired a warning show and no one was injured during the process. Freeman struck Perry with her car after immediate danger had subsided.
Still, with that being sad, no one knows what the nature of her relationship with Perry was. I highly doubt this was the first time Perry hit Freeman. We can’t be sure but the fact that he felt so comfortable brutalizing her in public leads me to believe it wasn’t the first time. And if this is what he did in public, it’s not hard to believe that her life was threatened.
There’s also the fact that she’s spent a majority of her pregnancy incarcerated when it is likely that she’s not a danger to her children.
Furthermore, it’s time that the justice system stops criminalizing women, particularly Black women who defend themselves against their abusers.
If you’re interested in donating to help her make bail, you can donate here.