All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

The Surviving Compton Trailer Is Out And It Looks Amazing

September 19th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Lifetime

Source: Lifetime

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the teaser for the new Lifetime biopic, “Surviving Compton.” As we reported earlier, this one tells the story of singer Michel’le, her rise in the music industry, becoming the “First Lady of Ruthless Records” and her abusive relationships with both Dr. Dre and Suge Knight.

In the trailer, Lifetime promises to keep it real.

“Behind the men who changed Hip Hop is the woman who knows the truth.”

From what we can see in this new trailer, Rhyon Nicole Brown, who will take on the lead role, sounds just like Michel’le and seems to embody her spirit.

Check her out below.

“Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le”  is set to air on Saturday, October 15.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor for She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

This Woman Survived Her Husband Stabbing Her 42 Times And The Baton Rouge Floods

September 13th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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 Baton Rouge Floods

Lorena O’Neil For Elle

Last month when water enveloped Louisiana’s capital of Baton Rouge, many found themselves homeless due to the property damage. Deborah Harris and her sons were no exception, as water flooded their home and car at a rapid rate, leaving them with no opportunity to escape the premises. Although she was in pain and could barely walk, Deborah still managed to save her family instead of succumbing to the bodily pain her ex-husband put her through during the past year.

After a whirlwind romance, Deborah married Anthony McKinney two years ago, telling ELLE Magazine her ex-husband was the “sweetest, charming-est person.” Unfortunately, his persona turned out to be a façade. Over time, McKinney became increasingly argumentative and violent. He even pulled out a gun on Deborah several times in front of her children and would start fist fights with her son Daniel. Inevitably, McKinney’s behavior became even more erratic to the point Deborah couldn’t comb her hair to go to the store without McKinney becoming angry and accusing her of seeing another man. “It’s like I was on a roller coaster,” Deborah said, “and it wasn’t stopping.”

Anthony’s abuse came to a frightening head last September when Deborah came home late one night. Upset by her tardiness, Anthony cursed out his then-wife in front of their home. When Deborah tried to take Anthony’s key and stop him from entering the house, he hit Deborah over the head with the door lock. After the incident, Deborah reported McKinney to the police but he was only held in custody for three days and released on a $210 bond.

The day after his release, McKinney came back to their house and was determine to kill Deborah. He stabbed her 42 times and was later shot dead by police when they came to rescue Deborah. Advised by doctors to keep her on life support, Deborah’s son Nathan shared how emotional it was to see his mother bloodied and bandaged after the attack. Deborah stayed on life support for three and half weeks— she lost three pints of blood and her heart stopped multiple times while she was in the hospital.

Since recovering from last year’s attack, Deborah now has a metal plate in her chest and has to use a walker because the injuries to her spine and hip have weakened her ability to walk. She also has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. But while Deborah makes moves to rebuild her life again, one storm after the next, her resilience shines through as she prepares for her son Nathan to start Louisiana State University next year and enjoys spending time with her grandson, Zechariah.

Read her compelling story in its entirety at ELLE.

Am I Being Abused? Signs You’re In An Abusive Relationship

September 8th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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I receive enough letters from women in abusive relationships that I will be hosting a healing workshop this fall in Philadelphia. Most of these letters ask for advice and next steps. Increasingly, I have also been receiving letters from women who are seeking advice on whether they are being abused or not. This makes sense as partner violence can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, and verbal abuse. We are clear that if someone has physically hit us that we are being abused but there are more insidious ways that abusers strike.

In a past column we had Reverend Kia Granberry share her experience with an abusive relationship. So is it possible to be a woman with seemingly healthy self-esteem to be in an abusive relationship? Absolutely. The reasons why this may happen range from you genuinely wanting to help someone to being so caught up in the positives about a person that you overlook the glaring negatives. However, it is not possible to stay in such a relationship and maintain healthy self-esteem.

This abuse has also been called domestic violence, intimate partner violence, spousal abuse, teen dating violence or family violence. No matter the name or the situation, this is extremely serious.

Please note: I am using the pronoun he to refer to the abuser but abusers can be any gender in relationships of any orientation.

Here are key signs and signals that you might be in an abusive relationship:

1. You make excuses to your friends and family about him.

That’s just how Michael is. He’s just off the chain like that. He has issues. His parents were abusive. Sometimes he just goes off like that but he doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s always apologizes later.

While these excuses may be darn good reasons to invest in therapy, there is no excuse for some directing their anger toward you. We’ve all had temper tantrums on occasion. If these tantrums are the norm in your relationship, this is not okay. Something is very seriously wrong.

If you feel a need to justify your man’s poor behavior, this is a problem. If you must justify why your guy is treating you poorly – to yourself or to others — then you may be in an abusive relationship.

2. You walk on eggshells because anything could set him off.

When the love of your life is “in a mood” you are watching your words ad your every move. Any little comment can send him over the edge so you feel like you have to tiptoe around him. As human beings, we’re all moody. We have our good days and bad days. Some of us may seem more volatile however, with more down moments than up. There are people who seem to fly into a violent rage, going from 0 to 100 in seconds.

When you have to be careful around someone for fear or enraging them or setting them off, you may be in an abusive relationship.

3. He cuts you down with his words.

Verbal abuse is just as destructive as physical violence. If you dismiss abusive words with “at least he doesn’t hit me” something is wrong.  Verbal abuse is unacceptable. Verbal abuse constitutes someone belittling you or threatening you. A partner telling you that you are inferior or stupid is verbal abusive. A loved one making negative remarks – even under the guise of “jokes” — about your physical appearance is verbal abuse. This is not constructive criticism. Comments that make you feel small are not constructive. If your love takes verbal jabs at you, you might be in an abusive relationship.

At first, you may not be sure whether he or she is being offensive on purpose or is just rude. The next comment may feel more like an aggressive punch. Then you will probably begin to see a pattern.

4. My partner is extremely jealous.

Jealousy can be unfortunately tricky and seductive, It can make us feel like perhaps someone cares about us. However, if your partner sees your every interaction as a flirtation or every glance as a potential affair there is a problem. He is clearly projecting his insecurities on to you.

It is not your responsibility to manage someone else’s insecurity. If your partner is consistently jealous and afraid of you cheating on him then you may be in an abusive relationship.

Next steps.

If you have realized that your relationship is abusive, it is time to get help and get out. Bottom line? Run! You can’t fix anyone else. It may feel like it sometimes, but you aren’t alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, 25 million American women from all backgrounds are intimately familiar with what it feels like to be abused.

For more information contact the Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-SAFE and there is advice for making a detailed escape plan on

Catch up on Abiola’s Love Class

Passionate Living Coach Abiola Abrams is the author of “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love,” nominated for an African American Literary Award in self-help. She gives extraordinary women inspiring advice on healthy relationships, self-esteem and getting the love we deserve. You’ve seen her love interventions in magazines from Essence to Ebony and on shows from MTV’s “Made” to the CW Network’s “Bill Cunningham Show.” Abiola is also the creator of the African Goddess Affirmation Cards. Tweet @abiolaTV.

Watch The Teaser For New Michel’le Biopic Surviving Compton

September 1st, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Lifetime

Source: Lifetime

Last year, we reported that artist Michel’le was coming out with a biopic of her own. The news was released on the heels of the Straight Outta Compton film. Michelle announced that after years of feeling ashamed of her story, she was finally ready to speak up and out.

When we initially reported this story, we didn’t know which network would be housing her story but according to Billboard, it’s going to be Lifetime.

Billboard reports that the biopic entitled Surviving Compton “will tackle the Los Angeles native’s journey through the turbulent days of N.W.A’s stardom after being signed to Eazy E’s Ruthless Records, becoming Dr. Dre’s girlfriend and forming romantic ties to Suge Knight.

The role of Michel’le will be played by Rhyon Nicole Brown, from ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights.”

The film was is being made in partnership with Sony Pictures Television and Thinkfactory Media. Rising actor Curtis Hamilton will take on the role of Dr. Dre and R. Marcos Taylor will reprise his role as Suge Knight, after playing the infamous role in the hit movie Straight Outta Compton. 

You can watch the promo clip from the upcoming film below.

Surviving Compton will premiere in October.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor for She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

911 Call Confirms Story That Vincent Bit Tamar’s Finger

August 25th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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We’ve held off reporting this news about Tamar, Vince and their recent domestic dispute because there wasn’t a real way to confirm it. But anything done in the dark–or in this case–at the Atlanta Ritz Carlton on Peachtree– comes to the light.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the rumors. The two got into an argument that culminated in Vincent biting Tamar’s finger.

And a 9-1-1 call, obtained by TMZ, seems to corroborate that story.

An unidentified man told the dispatcher:

“I’m having a domestic dispute between Mr. Vincent Herbert and Tamar Braxton. She claims that he bit her finger. He actually has left the property in a cab. He left but she’s here.”

The caller told the dispatcher that Tamar did not need an ambulance but he did request that an officer be sent to the premises.

You can listen to the audio in the video below.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” 

“Now Mommy, You’re Free:” 14-Year-Old Girl Facing Murder Charge For Killing Allegedly Abusive Father

August 8th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Bresha Meadows


Domestic violence cases are never quite open and shut, but the circumstances regarding Jonathan Meadows, his wife Brandi, and their daughter Bresha are especially complicated. Bresha is facing a charge of aggravated murder after killing her father for allegedly abusing her mother for years.

According to Fox 8, Bresha is accused of shooting her 41-year-old father in their Warren, Ohio, home on July 28. As WKBN reported, “Brandi called police about 3:46 am to say her daughter shot her husband in the head. Meadows later died as a result of his injury.”

Two months prior, Bresha’s grades reportedly began to drop in school and she’d also run away from home. When she was found, she told authorities she lived in fear for her life, according to a police report filed in May. Now the 14 year old sits in a juvenile detention center after entering a plea of “not true” (the equivalent of “not guilty” in juvenile court).

Jonathan’s history of abuse is somewhat documented as well. In 2011, Brandi filed for a civil domestic violence protection order against her now-deceased husband, saying he’d threatened to kill her and their three children.

“In the 17 years of our marriage, he has cut me, broke my ribs, fingers, the blood vessels in my hand, my mouth, blackened my eyes. I believe my nose was broken,” she wrote, according to The Huffington Post. “If he finds us, I am 100 percent sure he will kill me and the children … My life is like living in a box he created for me, and if I stepped out of that box, he’s there to put me back in that box.”

Brandi later dropped the charges after she and Jonathan reconciled, however, and he was never convicted of domestic violence. Bresha’s aunt Sheri Latessa has also come forward to detail the horror Jonathan put his family through and how Bresha simply wanted to end her mother’s pain, telling WKBN when it was over Bresha said, “Now mommy, you’re free.”

“[Bresha] did it for her mother. She definitely did it for her mother. They’ve all been through it, and nobody in that county would help, that we called, would do anything. She told on him, and nobody would do anything. She did what she was supposed to do, and nobody helped her.”

Bresha is said to have used the very gun her father had threatened her and her mother with over the years in the shooting. Though the gun was Jonathan’s it was registered in Brandi’s name because he was a convicted felon and thus not allowed to have a weapon. Brandi told Fox 8 of the tragic ordeal:

“[Bresha] is my hero; I wasn’t strong enough to get out and she helped me. I am so sorry she had to go through this. She is my hero. She helped me; she helped all of us so we could have a better life.”

Bresha Meadows is due back in court at the end of August. A Go Fund Me page account has been created to help pay for her defense.

Joyce Quaweay, A 24-Year-Old Mother of Two, Beaten To Death For Not Being Submissive Enough

August 3rd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Facebook/Mugshots

Source: Facebook/Mugshots

Joyce Quaweay’s last moments on earth were spent at the tortuous hands of her boyfriend and his friend. Handcuffed, she was beaten to death with fists and a police baton.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Quaweay shared a home with her 47-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Wright, his friend and co-conspirator 41-year-old Marquis Robinson and Robinson’s girlfriend. Robinson worked as a police officer at Temple University while Wright was dismissed from the force in 2012.

Four children were at the home during the time of Quaeway’s death.

Wright has been charged with murder, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, conspiracy to commit murder and abuse of a corpse. Robinson is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse.

Homicide Captain James Clark said that Wright was “extremely controlling” and became upset with Quaweay because she wasn’t submissive enough.

Both Wright and Robinson stripped Quaweay naked, handcuffed her to a bench. Wright beat her while Robinson contorted her body so Wright could strike her multiple times.

Clark said, “He felt like she would not submit to his authority and this was his way of punishing her to try to break her.”

Sadly, Quaweay’s abuse was witnessed by her two daughters, ages 10 months and 2-years-old. Wright’s two other children, who are around the ages of 8 and 10, also watched.

According to police, the men continued to beat Quaweay even after she died.

Robinson’s girlfriend walked in during the beating and called 911 at around 10:40 a.m.

According to officers when they arrived on the scene, Wright was sitting on the steps leading to the second story of the home. As they approached, he stood up and said, “I’m the one you want.”

Quaweay who had bruises all over her body from the neck down was pronounced dead at the scene.

Robinson fled from the scene before the police arrived but eventually turned himself in.

Clark called the murder “brutal and barbaric.”

Karyn Nettles-Davis who was a close friend of Quaweay’s from West Philadelphia High School told The Inquirer that she was ambitious and independent and worked at a group home taking care of the mentally disabled.

Nettles-Davis also said that Quaweay’s life revolved around her two daughters, who are now staying with Quaweay’s mother.

Quaweay’s half-sister Beatrice Mulbah said, “My sister was very smart. My sister was a very strong woman who was always there for her kids,” Mulbah said. “Joyce had more than a lot of people who loved her and I would like people to remember her as a strong, independent woman.”

Both Mulbah and Nettles-Davis, who have been around Wright before, said they never suspected him of being abusive and Quaweay never said he was.

Nettles-Davis said, “Trust me, if she would have said something, something would have been done.”

She urged anyone who might be a victim of domestic violence to speak up.

“You’re not alone. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. You’re not doing anything wrong. And it can get worse. If somebody is putting their hands on you, they do not love you. That is not love.”

Quaweay’s sister said she has no words for what Wright and Robinson did to her sister except: “Everybody’s got their own judgment day.”

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou: Explores The Truths About Emotional Abuse

May 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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When we think about abuse in relationships, our minds immediately consider physical violence. Frankly, it’s the easiest to detect. It seems to be the most damaging. Everyone can relate to an attack against our bodies. And, as we all know, it’s a very real issue, across the world. But there are more ways to disempower someone. And aside from the scars physical abuse may leave on someone, the affects of emotional abuse are often very similar. The women and men in these relationships are left feeling powerless, insecure and unworthy.

Dominican-American writer Zahira Kelly addressed the issue of emotional abuse with the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou.

In an interview with BBC Trending, she explained the necessity of her message.

“Abuse is often seen as very cut and dry, and only physical. For several years now on social media, on a daily basis I talk about many different forms of abuse and what they look like.”

She said it’s important that people be able to “suss out damaging situations.”

And the BBC article went on to list the ways in which a partner can be emotionally abuse, including putting on a respectable front for other people, mocking you, refusing to see your point of view, using information and things you’ve told him or her in confidence to shame you, and trying to make you jealous.

Several of these behaviors were exemplified in the tweets the hashtag inspired. Check them out below.

Does Chris Brown Remind You Of Men You Know? Is That Why We Keep Supporting Him?

April 18th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

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

April 8th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Today Show/NBC

Today Show/NBC

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.”