All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"

Breaking Through The Silence: Why You Must Speak Up About Domestic Violence

August 24th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Breaking Through The Silence: Why You Must Speak Up

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I have to admit something, I finally caved.  After three seasons I FINALLY decided to watch “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”  I didn’t want to do it, but I reconnected with someone I used to work with.  I found out that she does recap videos on Youtube and I wanted to support her so I watched a few, and they were all about L&HHA.  Not only she, but all of the other people in the comment section were so excited to watch this reunion that hadn’t even aired yet.  So, I finally decided to see what was this media monster that people have been talking about for years.

I started with the first episode (full episodes are on VH1.com), and I just started the second season a few days ago.  Now, I finally understand where the phrases “put the paws on ‘em,” “…in that order,” and “Do you lub me, Steebie” finally mean.

But on top of that, I also finally saw K. Michelle in action.

I was only familiar with her music, and I couldn’t understand why people came at her so hard in certain comment sections.  Even though she has a reputation of being messy, she didn’t seem that bad to me.  Especially when, during first season she and Rasheeda got into the argument about her past abusive relationship.

In the comment section of the video there were a few people who seemed a little annoyed that K. kept on mentioning it, but I couldn’t empathize with that, and here’s why.

So many people are victims to their own silence.  Sometimes when you go through things that are very tough, some people might feel that not talking about it makes it better.  The reason why is because some people are bold enough to either make you qualify your feelings, or challenge them as if they’re not valid.

Not to get on Rasheeda, but that was a little bogus to say:  “maybe he didn’t do those things to you?”

The problem in society, is that sometimes with victims you get people who do that to you.  There are always people who think that you made it up or they can’t imagine someone they love hurting other people.  The truth is, some people are angels in public and monsters behind closed doors.  You can’t judge how a person is in a relationship if you only know them on a friendly level.  They’re not going to show you how they really are, not like they do to someone in a relationship.

So with that, victims have a tendency to silence themselves, thinking that they’re saving themselves from the scrutiny that comes with their truth.  In actuality, it does more harm than good.  In situations like that, or even during depression, silence keeps you captive, while empowering the person or thoughts that are hurting you.  It allows other people a sense of peace as they sleep at night while the person that’s hurting is lying in bed trying to figure out what’s wrong with them.

To that, I say, SPEAK UP!  I know that it’s hard, and it’s scary, and people might even condemn you for living in the past, but being able to be open and finally say what you’ve been going through is one of the most empowering feelings you will have.

Who cares if people are tired of hearing you talk about it.  Just don’t talk to them, talk to a counselor, therapist, or a group of people who will understand and will allow you to use your voice.

The worst thing that people can do is silence themselves when they’ve been hurt, but it’s a common thing to do.  Speak up, because you have a voice that deserves to be heard.

 

On another note… what’s the deal with DJ Traci Steele and Baby Drew?

Kendra Koger is slowly working her way through the second season of L&HHA, and slowly tweeting @kkoger.

Joe Budden’s Girlfriend Accuses Him Of Slamming Her Head Into A Dashboard

August 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Joe Budden's Girlfriend Accuses Him Of Slamming Her Head Into A Dashboard

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Before he ever joined the cast of “Love and Hip Hop New York,” there were reports and even pictures that Joe Budden had beaten his ex girlfriend, video vixen, Esther Baxter. He was arrested for it, even wrote a song about, claiming that he restrained her. Meanwhile, Baxter came forward saying the abuse caused her to miscarry their unborn daughter.

Today, yet another woman has come forward accusing Budden of the same thing.

According to TMZ, Budden beat his current girlfriend, slamming her head into the dashboard of a car.

A source told TMZ that when Budden saw pictures of his girlfriend  with some other men, he flipped. They said Budden found the woman in a restaurant, dragged her out to his car and then allegedly choked her before shoving her into the dashboard.

The sources claim that afterward Budden drove them to his New Jersey home where police say the beating continued.

TMZ obtained images of the woman’s injuries, which you can view here.

The police are currently investigating.

It’s one thing to be accused by one woman but two…I don’t know what happened, but it seems that Joe might have a serious problem he needs to address.

“I Failed To Help Someone I Admired And Loved”: Tamron Hall Breaks Down As She Talks About Losing Her Sister To Domestic Violence

August 20th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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PNP/WENN.com

PNP/WENN.com

The different hosts of the “TODAY” show are all spearheading some really great causes through their Shine A Light series, including initiatives to fight obesity, running in the Boston marathon to honor victims of last year’s bombing, and in the case of Tamron Hall, working to help save the lives of young people who are in emotionally and physically abusive relationships. She is raising funds through Crowdrise to create a PSA to air in schools to address this serious issue. Such a cause is very close to Hall’s heart because her own sister, Renate, was a victim of domestic violence and was murdered in 2004. While speaking to a group of survivors, Hall revealed the guilt she felt over her sister’s death. “I got frustrated cause I felt like she wasn’t listening. And I carry that guilt with me every day, that as a family member, I didn’t know what to do.” In a blog for her initiative, Hall addressed the loss of her sister and what she hopes to accomplish.

Where do you start when asking someone for help? I know starting with the truth is the only answer. I’m on a mission to face my guilt. See, I failed to help someone I admired and loved. I left her hanging because I didn’t know what to say or how to help. In my deepest darkest thoughts I felt she could make a situation better and “chose” not to. I blamed her and my punishment is now I can’t say I am sorry. I can’t repair the damage. That’s the raw truth.

I’ve been open about my blended family. My parents, nearly 20 years apart in age found love and joined their separate families to make one. Overnight I got a big sister who like me was an odd mix tomboy meets girlie girl. I also got a big brother stationed in Germany who was cool and funny. We were far from The Brady Brunch but this blended family provided me with a childhood and foundation that was just right. Like all families, mine had its ups and downs. We welcomed new lives and said goodbye to others who were beloved. It was the farewell to my sister none of us saw coming. It was a Sunday morning when my phone rang and my mother could barely get a word out as she cried. My sister was dead. That was the beginning.

A few years before my sister died. She was visiting my home in Chicago. I heard yelling and a commotion downstairs. When I rushed to see what was wrong. I found my home torn apart and my sister had facial injures and a huge knot on her forehead. She was embarrassed and afraid. The only person in the room attempted to explain how my sister fell. I demanded he leave and called my parents. I comforted my sister but I also said she needed to leave the person. I didn’t sugar coat my opinion as I just couldn’t understand why she didn’t have the courage to leave. My sister was bold, smart, fearless, a true life of the party type of person. The next morning I went to check on her and there in my home was the very individual I had kicked out. I told both of them to get out. I didn’t speak to my sister for several months until my dad said enough. A few years later my sister would die. I will end it there as I feel it is important for her sons, my nephews to speak when the time is right.

 My work to shine a light on domestic violence is one my mother, my nephews, my brothers and other families have taken on as theirs too…I want to use technology and social media to heal and support those who feel hopeless and alone. My goal is to create a PSA that can air in schools and camps. One that speaks to the modern challenges teenagers face when dating turns into a dangerous situation…

The girls I’ve met are from all walks of life. Several have joined me on this journey to create this PSA that would give a modern fresh look at what teenagers are experiencing. I think it will be eye opening to adults and especially parents who are engaged but would still be surprised to hear. This is not city versus suburb. This is not black or white. It truly is a crisis that has no boundaries.

Since my sister’s death I’ve learned so much about the steps we can take to avoid victim shaming. I have spoken to family members who also felt helpless or lacked the education needed to help a loved one suffering. Not long ago I spoke to group of counselors and aid workers who focus on domestic violence. Some admitted how hard it is for them to see someone return back into a house of horrors where there is domestic abuse. They don’t give up and I won’t either…Today I ask for your help to save a life. I can only hope my guilt lessens each day as I meet a survivor. I’ve learned so much about caring and supporting survivors and I am dedicated to sharing what I’ve learned. My mantra is Today not tomorrow. Thank you for reading this and please know I am grateful and I thank you.

You can help raise funds for Hall’s initiative through Crowdrise, and so far she has raised almost $27,000. Check out her chat with some very brave women below.

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[Watch] Ray Rice Publicly Apologizes To His Wife: ‘She Can Do No Wrong, She’s An Angel’

August 1st, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: AP

Source: AP

Nearly six months after he was arrested for allegedly beating then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, at an Atlantic City hotel, Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice has apologized for the offense. The apology was delivered during a press conference on Thursday in Owen Mills, Maryland, the New York Daily News reports.

“My actions that night were totally inexcusable,” he expressed. “That night, I just replay over and over in my head. You know, that’s not me. My actions were inexcusable. That’s something that I have to live with for the rest of my life. The pain that I’m talking about living with is waking up everyday—my daughter is two years old now. I have a little girl who’s very smart, very intelligent and one day she’s going to know the power of Google and me having to explain that to her, what happened that night.”

He went on to say that his terrible actions on that night are not a reflection of who he is.

“I know that’s not who I am as a man. That’s not who my mom raised me to be. If anybody knows me, they know that I was raised by a single parent and that was my mother. You know to sit here today and to replay the things that my mom raised me to be, you know I let her down. I let my wife down. I let my daughter down. I let my wife’s parents down. I let the whole Baltimore community down. And I got my teammates they’re supporting me. I let me teammates down. I let so many people down because of thirty seconds of my life that I know I can’t take back.”

Ray went on to discuss his wife , who looked on as he apologized, and how they’re coping in the wake of the incident.

“What I’ve done going forward, because one thing that I’ve realized is that I’m a man and I’m not afraid to ask for help. I didn’t publicly apologize to my wife. I realize that hit home with a lot of people. There’s many nights where me and my wife sleep together and we still have to deal with this. Her pain is my pain. My pain is her pain. But one thing I wanted to do today is apologize to my wife, who I’ve known since high school. I’ve known her since a kid. I met her in high school. She’s the same girl now. She’s a great mother and she’s a great wife. She supports me throughout.”

He also expressed that once their wounds have healed, he and Janay hope to begin helping other couples who may be experiencing similar issues.

“I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life. Me. She can do no wrong. She’s an angel.”

“I’ll be honest, like I said, I own my actions. I just don’t want to keep reliving the incident because the incident itself. . . . I’m trying to move on.”

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

A White Woman Didn’t Get Stephen A. Smith In Trouble; His Mouth Did

August 1st, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Well we’ve finally solved the mystery of who told Harpo to beat Sophia?

It was Stephen A Smith.

No, I’m kidding. This is what he actually said in his commentary about the Ray Rice suspension (according to this transcript from The Talking Points Memo):

I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to try to make sure it doesn’t happen … but at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation,” he added. “Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them. Because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying.”

Well, I will say that Smith is pretty consistent in his victim blaming. Back in March of this year, he was the lead scout in the cavalry to save Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who believes that everybody is a little bit racist and, in particular, are scared of Black men in hoodies. I mean, it’s only natural to be, right?

Back then, he didn’t “give a damn what Black Twitter had to say and told us old time-y black folks we needed to chill because Cuban also mentioned some other prejudices he had against other “others” too. So you kind of expected him to hold the same level of ferocity when Michelle Beadle, co-host of SportsNation of ESPN 2, checked him via Twitter for his pretty foolish domestic violence victim blaming comments.

Instead he got all apologetic and accepting of his week-long suspension – even wishing the Twitterverse a heavenly “God Bless!” Now I’m not trying to say that Smith ended up looking like a flip-flopping, kowtowing shook one, but that’s what Kermit said…

And thank goodness the White woman did care enough to say something on behalf of Ray Rice’s wife, which last I’d recall was a Black woman, and check what are largely inaccuracies. A Black woman, who Smith had just got finished violating again (with his inaccuracies), after she had already been violated by her boyfriend/turned husband and by the Ravens organization in general.

Unlike what Smith believes, women needing to contemplate all they have to do “to try to prevent the situation from happening” has been “broached” before in our national dialogues around intimate partner violence – most times it has been “broached” to death In fact, these conversations about how women should go about not “provoking” our own victimizations has been drilled into the heads of little girls and women everywhere since we were old enough to be left alone with our first male relatives. We are taught about the dangers of our mini-skirts and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught to stick with friends in bright and crowded places, to avoid ponytails, buy special underwear and other anti-rape paraphernalia, scream “no” as loud and as long as we can – but not too loud because dudes hate it when you talk to much, stop dating thugs, being golddiggers and a whole host of other things, which are supposed to not “provoke” our getting raped or beat up.

The problem is that whenever we “broach” the single golden ways men can do to prevent crimes against women – and that is “don’t do it” – that’s when folks – mostly men but a few women-hating women too (I see you Whoopi), will start pulling out their Smokey the Bear-hat and reminding women again that it is up to them to prevent forest fires.

And yet in spite of all that teaching of women how to stop getting in the way of those flying fists and loose penises, the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that even to this day, between 85 to 90 percent of domestic violence victims are female. Likewise, domestic violence constitutes 22 percent of violent crime against females and 3 percent of violent crime against males. And even more startling, 70 percent of intimate homicide victims are female, and females are twice as likely to be killed by their husbands or boyfriends than murdered by strangers.

Perhaps the womenfolks are just not listening and doing enough to prevent stuff from happening to them. But according to the DHHS:

Some people believe domestic violence occurs because the victim provokes the abuser to violent action, while others believe the abuser simply has a problem managing anger. In fact, the roots of domestic violence can be attributed to a variety of cultural, social, economic, and psychological factors.49 As a learned behavior, domestic violence is modeled by individuals, institutions, and society, which may influence the perspectives of children and adults regarding its acceptability. Abusive and violent behaviors can be learned through: Childhood observations of domestic violence; One’s experience of victimization; Exposure to community, school, or peer group violence; Living in a culture of violence (e.g., violent movies or videogames, community norms, and cultural beliefs).50”

Learned behavior. The kind that says, boys will be boys. The kind that teaches our children that the onus for all violent acts against women are women themselves. The kind that would like to conflate straw man arguments about these exceptional Amazonian women capable of inflicting physical harm with her bare hands and mighty spit, who runs up on dudes and phone checking them for their manhoods than what the reality is: some of y’all got issues.

It’s funny how Smith, along with the supporters of this “provocation” doctrine as an justification for the right to abuse women, usually are eerily silent when discussions around violence against Black men happen. There was no talk about whether Black men should start hitting back when those Staten Island cops allegedly choked Eric Garner to death or how the Jersey cop killer’s widow might have had a point – none of those eye for an eye advocates dared touch that one. Funny how many of these burly tough guys, who are so easily provoked into violence at their own alleged injustice can’t be moved to “treat like men” all the knuckleheads in the community, who rape and pillage. But there are plenty of marching and pontificating behind podiums with petitions and calls to stop the violence though.

And even Smith, who never backs down from his own Bill Cosby-esque sass and provocation of the black community and Black women, suddenly submits, when his own livelihood is at stake. Now he understands self-control.

 

Stephen A. Smith Suspended For One Week Over Ray Rice Comments

July 29th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Apparently, ESPN is taking a stronger stance against domestic violence than the NFL. Last week Stephen A. Smith made some pretty flagrant comments about women provoking domestic violence. After defending the comments for a while not only on his show “First Take” but also on Twitter, Smith finally felt the strong arm of the network and eventually apologized. First on Twitter and then on air.

Initially, the network said that they found his apology to be sufficient:

“We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen’s comments last Friday do not reflect our company’s point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values.”

But they released this updated statement today:

“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday.”

I know many of you, our readers, and even some of the MN editors don’t think Smith’s comments were that offensive. That women shouldn’t put their hands on men. I certainly agree with that sentiment. No one should attack anyone else, ever but especially in the context of a relationship. I agree with Smith on that end.

But personally, I think the suspension is warranted. Given Smith’s comments about T.I. and Tiny and their drama and now this one about Ray Rice and Janay Palmer, it’s clear that his sensitivity to women’s issues is a bit off. And I don’t think it’s such a bad idea that he sit on the bench for a minute and think about the gravity of his words. I don’t believe they have a place in this particular discussion. Not only is the notion that Palmer hit Rice all speculation–because there’s no footage of her hitting him– it sends the very dangerous message that a man can somehow be justly provoked to knock a woman unconscious and drag her body around like a piece of trash.

Melyssa Ford Acknowledges The Role She Played In Being Punched In The Face By A Man

July 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

The NFL’s decision to let Ray Rice off the hook with a two-game suspension following a physical altercation involving him and his wife, Janay Palmer, has forced the issue of domestic violence back to the forefront of many conversations. Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith also partook in that conversation and urged women to consider the roles that they can play in escalating violent situations with men. Of course, his words attracted quite a bit of backlash. He later apologized for his comments. Interestingly, a video of reality star and model Melyssa Ford recently surfaced on the web in which she reflects on a time where she was punched in the face by a man. She also expressed that she accepts the role that she played in escalating the situation.

“While I was shaking my hand in his face, I smashed him in the face with the CD Walkman,” she told Charlamagne and Andrew Schulz during a podcast episode of The Brilliant Idiots. “He didn’t even blink and punched me right in my face. Lip exploded. It was like *gasp*. Then I wilded out some more and he was like, ‘Oh my God! I gotta get her out of here,’ because we’re in the car in the street.[...] I’m sure there’s a whole lot going through his head.”

Melyssa went on to say that the man felt terrible about hitting her—even though she hit him first.

“We got back to the house, it’s kind of like a blur but all I know is for the next like, day, every time he looked at my face he burst into tears. He was devastated he had reacted that way because he’s not that kind of guy. I just think that there’s some guys who have problems with beating women. They just do. Then there’s circumstances where he was a human being who was backed into a corner and he reacted without even thinking.”

The “Blood, Sweat And Heels” star added that her companion was not the kind of guy who resorts to violence, and that he simply snapped when she hit him. She also credited the situation with teaching her not to put her hands on men.

“He is not the kind of man that would solve conflict with…or even women. That’s not how we would solve conflict by fighting. If it comes down to it, yeah. He’s going to defend himself. To a certain extent, this was a defense mechanism. It was a mechanism and my behavior activated it. It took me a while to learn to stop putting my hands on men.”

Check out a clip from her interview on the next page. Thoughts?

Janay Palmer Allegedly Asked NFL To Go Easy On Ray Rice, Hence The Light Suspension

July 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: AP

Source: AP

Last week, we told you about the National Football League’s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice for two games behind the Valentine’s Day domestic violence incident involving his wife, Janay Palmer Rice. Naturally, people (including us) were pretty outraged by the little slap-on-the-wrist penalty issued to Ray, despite the troubled athlete being caught on video dragging an unconscious Janay out of a hotel elevator on the night of the incident.

The athletic league, however, is standing by their decision. The league’s Senior Vice President of Labor Policy, Adolpho Birch, called in to ESPN radio yesterday morning and he pretty much defended the two-game suspension.

“Listen, I think if you are any player and you think that based on this decision that it’s OK to go out and commit that kind of conduct, I think that is something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that,” he warned.

Adolpho went on to reason that Ray’s suspension sends a solid message that the NFL does not condone violence.

“So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we’ve done that. We can talk about the degree of discipline, we can talk about whether or not third parties need to be involved. I would suggest to you that a third party has been involved in this matter and that was the court that reviewed it, the prosecutor that reviewed it.”

He continued:

“But if it is a question about what the principle of the league is and what standards we stand by, that cannot be questioned. I think it is absolutely clear to all involved that the NFL does not condone domestic violence in any way and will not tolerate it in our league. I don’t know how you can reach a conclusion other than that although I certainly respect the opinion.”

“The discipline that was taken by the NFL is the only discipline that occurred, with respect to Mr. Rice, in this case. I think that, were he not an NFL player, I don’t know that he would be able to receive any punishment from any other source.”

Finally, Adolpho stated that after reviewing the facts, it was concluded that a two-game suspension was appropriate.

“On balance, we reviewed all the materials, listened to the persons we listened to, took the input of the Players Association. When we looked on balance at all of that, we believe that discipline we issued is appropriate. It is multiple games and hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think that’s fair to say that doesn’t reflect that you condone the behavior. I think we can put that to rest.”

Interestingly, recent reports allege that Janay actually pleaded with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to go easy on her husband. At least that’s what a source told MMQB‘s Peter King. According to the source, Janay pleaded with Roger at a June 16th hearing in New York, stating that the elevator incident was a one-time occurrence and that it was the first and only time there was a physical altercation in their relationship.

Listen to Adolpho’s explanation on the next page.

“I Know I’m Going To Catch A Lot Of Hell, But I Don’t Care”: Whoopi Defends Stephen A. Smith, Says Women Shouldn’t Lay A Hand On Men

July 29th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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WENN

WENN

We told you yesterday that Stephen A. Smith caught some hell late last week for saying that women shouldn’t provoke the domestic violence they receive when speaking about Ray Rice and his infamous violent fight with then-fiancée, Janay Palmer. While his statement wasn’t received well, Smith says that he does stand by his point, but could have expressed it in a more articulate manner.

“On Friday, speaking right here on ‘First Take’ on the subject of domestic violence, I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career…My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders. To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious, to apologize, to say I’m sorry, doesn’t do the matter its proper justice to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.”

But one public figure who is coming to Smith’s defense is Whoopi Goldberg. On yesterday’s episode of The View, Goldberg said that in general, no one should put their hands on anyone else, but if you make the choice to, don’t be surprised in this day and age if you are hit back.

“The comment that he made is based on what the young lady said she did. Let me just make that clear to ya’ll. She said, ‘I hit him,’ and I believe that’s what Stephen was pointing out.

I’m sorry, if you hit somebody, you can not be sure that you’re not going to get hit back. If you’re a little boy and you grow up with a little sister and your mother says no, you can never hit her, and she’s hitting you all the time, well you know what…you have to teach women do NOT, do not put your hands on anybody! Let me just finish my point because I know I’m going to catch a lot of hell, and I don’t care. You have to teach women, do not live with this idea that men have this chivalry thing still with them. Don’t assume that that’s still in place. So don’t be surprised if you hit a man and he hits you back. You hit somebody, they hit you back! Don’t be surprised! You have to teach the women not to put their hands up on anybody. That’s not blame the victim, I just said, don’t anybody, hit anybody! Don’t hit anybody! But if you make the choice as a woman who’s 4’3″ and you decide to hit a guy who’s 6’0″ and you’re the last thing he wants to deal with that day and he hits you back, you cannot be surprised! Let’s not hit anyone.”

This isn’t the first time Goldberg has spoken out about the role she thinks women can play in violent confrontations. After Solange Knowles was taped kicking the hell out of Jay Z in a hotel elevator after the Met Gala, Goldberg said that she was very lucky that he didn’t resort to the same violence she was unleashing on him:

“I think Solange was quite ready for him to do whatever he was gonna do. This is the thing. If anybody hits you, you have the right –I know that many people are raised in a very different way, but if a woman hits you, to me, you have the right to hit her back. If I slap a man, he has every right to slap me back. Every right.”

Check out Goldberg’s thoughts on handling violence below, and let us know if you agree, or if she should “catch a lot of hell” for her comments.

Goldie Taylor Responds To Stephen A. Smith: “My Father Smashed My Mother’s Face”

July 28th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Last week we reported, Ray Rice was suspended for only two games of the upcoming NFL season for the domestic violence dispute against his then fiancé, now wife, Janay Palmer. ESPN’s “First Take’s” head reporter, Stephen A. Smith responded to Rice’s consequences stating that women should understand the role they play when they provoke men. His commentary did not sit well with viewers and Smith tried to clarify via Twitter and then more extensively on “First Take”:

“My series of tweets a short time ago is not an adequate way to capture my thoughts so I am using a single tweet via Twitlonger to more appropriately and effectively clarify my remarks from earlier today about the Ray Rice situation. I completely recognize the sensitivity of the issues and the confusion and disgust that my comments caused. First off, as I said earlier and I want to reiterate strongly, it is never OK to put your hands on a women. Ever. I understand why that important point was lost in my other comments, which did not come out as I intended. I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn’t trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life. I understand why my comments could be taken another way. I should have done a better job articulating my thoughts and I sincerely apologize.”

Although Smith apologized, award-winning journalist Goldie Taylor responded to his original statement via Twitter about her own experience with abuse from a past boyfriend.

Taylor also revealed her mother’s personal experiences of abuse from her husband, Taylor’s father.

Known for her popular Procter & Gamble “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign and contribution to MSNBC, Taylor continues to tell her story of domestic violence for the women whose voices have been silenced because of shame, fear and even death. In 2013, Taylor recounted her tale of abuse in an MSNBC article when news broke of Kassandra “Kasi” Perkins who was fatally killed by boyfriend, Jovan Belcher.

Taylor’s article noted:

It’s been 26 years and I rarely think about the smooth keloid scar in the upper left corner of my back. It’s too easy to forget about the scar above my mother’s eye, a reminder that in a jealous rage my father put her face through a plate glass window. Or the cousin who was chased down and shot in a grocery store parking lot some years ago. Or the friend, pregnant with twins, whose husband tied her up, doused her with gasoline and waved a matchbook under her nose. The number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. The perpetrator is almost always the child’s father. It won’t be long before we forget about the contributions Belcher made on the field. There will come a time when you will need some prompting to remember that he murdered Kasi, if you remember her name at all. I tell my story, hoping that you will not forget. I tell my story so that maybe, just maybe you will not turn your back on that sister, co-worker or friend. I tell my story because Kasi cannot tell hers.

We salute Taylor for her brave and honest heart.

The tweets above are just a portion of the story Taylor shared today on Twitter, you can read the rest of what she shared here.

Editor’s Note: If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, please share the National Abuse Hotline phone number: 1-800-799-7233