All Articles Tagged "domestic violence"
Football season is just around the corner, and like many free agents, Ray Rice has been working overtime to get picked up by a team before the preseason begins later this month. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old athlete, it seems that most teams view him as more of a liability than an asset. While he admits that he understands why people are reluctant to work with him, he insists that he’s a “rehabilitated man.”
Rice became the villain of the NFL after leaked elevator footage showed the former Baltimore Raven knock out his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, with a closed fist. Months after the incident, Rice was cut from the Ravens and suspended by the NFL indefinitely. He was was later reinstated to the league, but has not been picked up by a team.
“I’ve treated this year of me being out as an injury year. It’s not physical, it was mental. It was everything about rehabilitating myself to be the best, husband, father,” he told ESPN‘s Jemele Hill. “I’m not afraid to share right now that I’m a rehabilitated man.”
When asked what he felt he could do differently about the night that changed his life forever, Rice bizarrely shared that he regrets not helping his wife up off of the floor after hitting her.
“I didn’t help my wife up. I did everything wrong. At that moment, I was out of my mind not to help her up. That’s what plays over and over in my mind. Just leaving her there, how could I have done that?”
He later added that he should have never hit her in the first place.
“If I could do it different, I should have helped my wife up. I should have never put my hands on her, number one.”
As for his desire to return to the league this season, Rice says that he can only hope he’s given a second chance.
“I always preach one or two bad decisions, and your dream could become a nightmare. Well, I had to eat my own words. I truly lived a nightmare. There is no set in stone whether you’re going to get a second chance or not. I have to set my hope and faith and everything else that I’m doing in my life; I’m just really hopeful for a second chance.”
Watch Ray’s full interview below.
As many of you know, later this month, on August 14, the highly anticipated Straight Outta Compton biopic will hit theaters.
Personally, I’ll be there.
But as with most biopics, produced by the people the film profiles, there will be a few holes. Holes that will have the real life people looking like heroes, instead of mere men.
And while I’m all for some more portrayals of Black heroes, I also believe in truth and according to Gawker, Straight Out of Compton doesn’t tell all of it.
In a piece called “Remember When Dr. Dre Bashed a Female Journalist’s Face Against a Wall?,” Rich Juzwiak claims that in addition to pushing the women in their lives to the background or periphery of their story, there is also the huge, glaring omission of when Dr. Dre beat “Pump It Up” host Dee Barnes for “making N.W.A. look bad.”
Barnes simply interviewed Ice Cube while he was filming Boyz N the Hood and he made some comments about his former group.
For those who’ve listened to Michel’le’s story, you know that this is not the first recorded incident of Dr. Dre putting his hands on a woman.
The altercation with Barnes happened on January 27, 1991, during an album release party for rap duo Bytches With Problems (BWP).
As Barnes told the Los Angeles Times, back in 1991:
He picked me up by my hair and my ear and smashed my face and body into the wall…Next thing I know, I’m down on the ground and he’s kicking me in the ribs and stamping on my fingers. I ran into the women’s bathroom to hide, but he burst through the door and started bashing me in the back of the head…
In another interview, she gave additional details:
Dre picks me up by my shirt in the front and I can’t even say, ‘Help,’ ‘cause I’m choking. The next thing I know, the guy on my right tries to help me and gets knocked out by Dre’s bodyguard. Then Dre picks me up by my hair and ear and starts slamming my face up against a wall. It was a brick wall.
And while you might think this would be something Dr. Dre and his crew would be ashamed of, a profile of the group in Rolling Stone proved that that wasn’t the case.
MC Ren said, “she deserved it…bitch deserved it.
And then Eazy E: “Yeah, bitch had it coming.”
What did Dr. Dre say?
People talk all this shit, but you know, somebody fucks with me, I’m gonna fuck with them. I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing – I just threw her through a door.
What makes the assault even more vile is that Dre and Barnes had actually been friends before all of this. But if you’ll shoot at the mother of your child, it’s nothing to beat a friend.
Later, in 1992, he told The Source “I didn’t do shit, I didn’t touch her ass.”
Barnes pressed charges, sued Ren and Eazy E for libel before eventually settling out of court for an undisclosed amount.
In 1991, in an op-ed piece for The Source, dream hampton wrote about the incident and spoke about not only Dr. Dre’s actions but misogyny in Hip Hop and society at large.
It infuriates me that witnesses reported that Dr. Dre’s bodyguard held the crowd back as Dee received multiple blows to her womanhood. I find it intolerable when brothers ask, “So what did Dee do?” I will be outraged to learn that Dr. Dre is not underneath jail when this is published. Historically, Black women have been reluctant and intimidated to confront their abuse because of the “division” it would cause within the race and because of the racist, classist institutionalization of the judicial system and the white women’s liberation movement.
Violence against Black women by Black men did not begin with rap music. Sexism did not begin with the black community. These minor revelations are not enough. Sexism exists in the hip-hop generation. Manifestation of sexist behavior is first verbal and mental abuse (BBD, Big Daddy Kane, Too Short, HWA)—it evolves into its inevitable counterpart, physical violence (Dee Barnes, [the mother of three of Flavor Flav’s children] Karen Ross, one out of every four Black women between 18 and 25). Hip-hop music must take responsibility for eliminating the perpetuation of the destruction of the Black community, i.e. the abuse of the Black women. It has no place in revolutionary music.
I don’t have to tell you that dream hampton not only has a point, her message is, sadly, just as true today as it was in 1991. Perhaps the only difference is that an abuser and his friends would never admit to and brag about beating a woman.
Now, an abuser would simply apologize until the country decides he’s sat on the sidelines long enough, been banned from radio play long enough or made enough long money that we all just have to look past it.
Still, I wonder about Gawker’s decision to run this story now. Is it because Dr. Dre has never atoned for brutally beating this woman…and other women? Is it because they wanted to speak as an addendum to the film or are they hoping it will spark a productive discussion about violence against women.
I’m not sure.
To be honest, a part of me wonders if this is just an attempt to dig up dirt, just because being messy is lucrative.
It would nice to know that sometime later in his life Dr. Dre saw someone or sought professional or spiritual help about his propensity to beat women.
But since he’s never said anything of the sort and attempted to flip flop and deny the interaction entirely, perhaps Gawker just wanted to provide a space for him to speak up and out against the heinous actions of his younger self.
What do you think, does Gawker’s piece needlessly stir up drama or is it attempting to shed a light on the past and present issues in our society?
Earlier this month police responded to a domestic violence call to an apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina. When they got there, they found 36-year-old Omar Dunbar dead.
After an investigation authorities announced that Deanna Denise Watson, a 16 year old girl was being charged with his murder.
Dunbar was Watson’s mother’s boyfriend and according to neighbors and police records, the two didn’t have a good relationship.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Watson and her siblings often clashed with her mother’s boyfriend.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police had responded to three separate domestic violence complaints at Watson’s home in the week prior to his death. Neighbors spoke to the Observer saying that Watson and her siblings often said Dunbar, who had been dating their mother for three years, attempted to punish the children by hitting them or kicking them out of the house.
A family friend, Kamela Friday said that Dunbar and Deanna had the most tumultuous relationship/ She said when he was around, Deanna would often knock on neighbors’ doors asking if she could stay with them since Dunbar had put her out.
The day Dunbar was killed neighbors say they saw police outside of Watson’s home again. Friday said she later learned that they were there because Dunbar had hit one of the younger boys.
Friday, who spoke with Deanna’s siblings later, told the Observer later that night, Watson’s mother went to work at a nearby Target. Once she was gone, the sounds of Dunbar confronting one of her siblings woke Deanna out of her sleep.
“He grabbed (him) by the legs and pulled him out of the bed and pulled him down the stairs,” Friday said. “Deanna was like ‘Leave my brother alone. Leave him alone. Just leave.’ And he spat in her face.”
The two got into a fight of their own after that and during that time Dunbar was stabbed and killed.
Early on Wednesday, two friends called Friday and asked her to go check on Deanna and her siblings. She said once she got in the apartment, “I see blood because he’s dead in the kitchen. It was all over the floor.”
Turns out, Dunbar, in addition to dating Deanna’s mother, was also married.
His wife Ashonda declined to speak in detail to the Observer but she said, “What’s being portrayed is not him. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Obviously, none of us were there or know what happened; but from the details from the neighbor and the not one, not two, but three reported domestic violence incidents, in a single week, it would seem that Watson got tired of her mother’s trifling boyfriend abusing she and her siblings and she took action.
Sadly, Dunbar ended up dead as a result.
When Watson appeared before the District Court, she was wearing shackles and a judge set her bail at $1 million.
From the outside looking in, the situation seems like the victim was being punished for protecting herself.
This didn’t sit too well with Joann Thompson.
Though she’d never met Deanna, she, being a former domestic violence survivor, was touched by her story and decided to do something about it.
Thompson told People, “The system failed those kids. I just had to do something to help her. With this paper trail of domestic abuse that’s been going on for years, you want to lock this child up? That’s a little harsh, isn’t it?”
She was particularly infuriated by Watson’s $1 million bond. And in response she set up a Fundly account in Deanna’s name and started researching lawyers on her behalf.
“She’s just a child. This is very traumatizing for her. She doesn’t have an attorney at all, and we don’t want to see her sign something she doesn’t understand. That’s another reason why I want to help her. She doesn’t have a voice. She has to have a voice.”
Thompson is not the only one. Neighbors were passing out fliers, attempting to raise money for her defense.
Now, Deanna is being held in the juvenile section of an adult correctional facility in North Carolina. Thompson hopes she will be released before her 17th birthday next month.
At the time of publication, it seems that Fundly is not loading properly. But if you’re interested in contributing to Deanna, please keep checking back.
International beauty expert and founder of Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic Seven Brown has been appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee (DVFRC) for the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). The committee is responsible for designing strategies to better help women who have suffered from domestic violence through city programming.
Brown has been an ally for women who have suffered from domestic violence for years, and now she is taking her advocacy to another level. We talked with Brown about the success she’s seen in her career up to this point. Looking at her and hearing about those achievements, one would never guess her past story.
“People will look at me and say ‘Oh you’re an exception to the rule, you must have had money… you make it look so easy’ because people don’t really see what you go through,” Brown told us. “So, when you get to that point it’s almost obligatory to tell your story because they turn around and go ‘Oh really, that means I can do this too.”
Brown encountered domestic violence multiple times in her life before she “left successfully.”
“The last time was about 15 years ago. It took almost losing my life,” she says. Brown begins to tell the story of day she was staring down the barrel of a gun held by her then-lover.
“It’s another thing when your child is yelling at you saying ‘Mommy it’s a gun!’ It becomes very clear, very real, very quickly… This was like flight or fight. We had to go,” shares Brown.
Finally deciding to leave her domestic violence story put her in a “911 mindset” where every move turns into an emergency situation. Needing to relocate quickly and find work, 15 years ago Brown pulled her clerical skills together and worked for a temp agency for a period of time, transitioned into law and finally beauty.
Brown recently sat in her first meeting with the committee and said it was refreshing to see how far agencies, police and the overall thought process has come. Some of the programs that exist now were not in place during her time of domestic violence.
“The ability to affect change is major and if you’re talking about being able to save someone’s life by giving insight to what my experience was or what someone might be thinking in that moment it is pretty powerful and a small contribution to save a life,” said Brown on her appointment to the committee.
“It is our responsibility to combat domestic violence in this city head-on, and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee is a key tool in that effort,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement. “With the addition of these new members, each of whom demonstrates a vehement commitment to helping those impacted by intimate partner violence and abuse in the home, we will improve City policies and services to move one step closer to eradicating domestic violence.”
As a member of the DVFRC, Brown will spend a two-year term examining information on domestic violence fatalities that occur in New York City and formulate recommendations to improve services and reduce domestic violence deaths.
“Domestic violence sometimes takes you from the boardroom to the shelter. You have to walk away from everything and when you start over at a certain age it’s beyond not easy. I want to inspire and let people know things have happened to me and when you say you’re proud of me know you can do the same,” said Brown.
We reported yesterday that the cornerback filed for a restraining order against his ex-fiancée, but we have since learned that the courts granted his request.
In the filing, Scandrick alleges that the reality star’s violent behavior began on April 21 when she allegedly maced him, threw candles at him and knocked photos off of the walls in their home. He also claims to have suffered bodily injury from the attack.
Another incident occurred on July 3 at 2 am, during which Scandrick claims Draya threw a porcelain jewelry box and books at him. He also alleges that she threatened t0 “throw bleach in his eyes.” Later that day, the fighting continued when Draya allegedly took his clothing and tossed into his bathtub and swimming pool, ruining some items permanently.
In addition to being prohibited from coming within 100 yards of her ex, Draya has also been ordered to move out of his home as soon as possible. Both parties are due back in court later this month.
So far, Draya’s rep did not return our request for comment concerning this matter.
FSU Quarterback De’Andre Johnson Charged With Battery, Dismissed From Team After Punching Woman In The Face [Watch]
It is sadly becoming way too common to hear about a football player, whether a young college or seasoned NFL star, being arrested for attacking a woman. But unlike many of these stories, this time around, there is a video of such an assault.
Florida State University quarterback De’Andre Johnson was arrested and charged last month with misdemeanor battery after he put his hands on a woman in a West Tallahassee bar on June 24. It’s unclear how the 19-year-old freshman got into the establishment as he is obviously underage, but while there, he ended up pushing past a woman to get to the bar. When she turned around to confront Johnson, things immediately got heated. She is seen raising her hand in a fist, and in response, Johnson grabs her arm. When she lifts her knee to his groin, the young woman is also seen taking a swing at him. In no time flat, Johnson responds by striking the woman across the face before quickly walking away. She is able to stay on her feet but ends up bleeding on the bar as another woman comes to her aid.
After being identified by bar patrons, Johnson ended up surrendering to Tallahassee police and was released on a $500 bond.
According to Tallahassee.com, the young woman obtained bruising around her left eye, swelling of her left cheek and upper lip, and a cut on the bridge of her nose. She is going forth with battery charges against the 19-year-old.
Video of the incident was captured by security cameras:
Not only is Johnson facing some serious charges, but he also has lost the opportunity to play for FSU. According to ESPN, Florida State Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher dismissed Johnson from the team on Monday evening due to his behavior. He has been enrolled at the school since January after graduating from high school early (First Coast High School in Jacksonville). And despite being kicked off the team, Johnson is still attending classes.
He has since obtained the legal defense of attorney Jose Baez, who helped Casey Anthony get acquitted in Orlando after she was charged with murdering her daughter, Caylee.
Baez said in a statement that the woman in the video was the “initial aggressor” and that Johnson was defending himself. But he also said that the football star is “extremely embarrassed” and hoping to learn from this situation.
“While it is clear from the video that De’Andre Johnson was not the initial aggressor, his family wants to take the lead in helping him learn and grow from this experience. He is currently participating in community service and faith-based programs focused on battered women, substance abuse and the empowerment of children.”
He continued, “De’Andre is extremely embarrassed by this situation and would like to express his heartfelt apologies to everyone, including those who were directly affected, Coach Fisher and his teammates, the entire Florida State University community, as well as his family and friends.”
Ex-NFL star Warren Sapp is in trouble with the law again.
According to The Associated Press, the 42-year-old was arrested and charged Thursday with three counts of battery constituting domestic violence. Sapp’s girlfriend of five years, Chalyce Moore, has accused him of abuse.
In a criminal complaint filed Thursday, Moore alleges that Sapp threw a margarita in her face during a poolside argument they had at a Las Vegas resort in April. A police report also revealed that there is hotel security footage of the violent exchange that allegedly shows Sapp aggressively grabbing Moore’s arm and purse and pulling her into the resort, which caused her to lose her balance.
According to Moore, the heated confrontation continued during the drive to her condo. She went on to allege that Sapp bit her middle finger and stepped on the right side of her face once they arrived at the apartment.
TMZ is reporting that Moore’s friend supported her allegations, telling police that her friend sustained multiple injuries from the alleged assault, including “a bruise on her lower lip, abrasions and bruises on her shoulders, bruising on her legs, and a bruise on one of her temples with a checkerboard imprint.” The alleged victim also believes that she suffered a concussion as a result of Sapp allegedly stepping on her face.
Sapp is scheduled to appear in court on July 23. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months behind bars.
According to USA Today, New Jersey Judge Michael Donio dismissed the charges against Rice after Atlantic City prosecutor confirmed that Rice had fulfilled the requirements of his pretrial intervention. Per the deal, which kept the former Baltimore Raven out of prison, Rice was required to attend anger management counseling and pay a $125 fine. Rice was charged with third-degree assault in February of 2014 after the highly publicized incident.
“This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation,” acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said of the intervention program last year. “After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law, it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”
According to New Jersey guidelines, defendants who commit violent crimes should “generally be rejected” from the pretrial intervention program, but McClain justified Rice’s admission into the program after reviewing the circumstances of the 2014 incident.
The program was set in place to keep low-level suspects out of prison. In March, Rice and Palmer celebrated their first wedding anniversary.
Rekia Boyd, 22, was shot in the back of her head when Dante Servin, an off-duty police officer, shot into a crowd five times on March 22, 2012 in Chicago. She died two days later.
Servin claimed Boyd’s friend Antonio Cross pulled out an object from his pocket and pointed it at him. Servin thought it was a gun, and claimed he feared for his life. The object was a cell phone. Servin was charged with involuntary manslaughter but was found not guilty last month.
There’s been outrage, but only about 100 people attended a rally for Boyd in New York City’s Union Square on April 22, according to For Harriet.
According to social justice organizers, Black women as both leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement and victims of police violence don’t get enough support. They receive little of the media coverage that is often centered around black men.
Janisha Gabriel, 34, website designer of blacklivesmatter.com, helped organize the rally for Boyd with Black Lives Matter: NYC. She expected a small turnout. She said larger white-run liberal organizations respond mainly to the deaths of Black men, due to social media campaigns and news coverage in recent years.
Gabriel’s goal is to grow public resistance around the deaths of Black women. She plans to launch a database in July, speakmyname.org, which will be a collection of Black (non-trans and trans) women and girls who were victims of state, domestic and police violence. Thus far, she has about 700 names.
Timeline: Black Woman And Girl Victims Of Police Violence Since 2008:
And while she was glad to see people come out in support of Boyd, black men in particular, she would like to see a lot more.
“I was happy to see the Black men that were there,” Gabriel said. “But ultimately we need for a lot of Black men to be present in these moments.
When domestic violence is one of our leading causes of deaths and Black trans women have a life expectancy of 35 years of age, we need Black men to be very present with us to have some deep conversations.”
According to Gabriel, these conversations can’t take place because there’s an issue with media response. She said Black women and girls as victims of violence don’t make national news.
“Media has responded to Black deaths specifically because of the social media campaigns around Trayvon Martin,” Gabriel said. She calls the deaths of Black men a popular topic and said people are interested in seeing Black men as threatening.
“Black men’s deaths [are] associated with the concept of Black men being inherently violent, which is why people are always justifying the deaths of Black men. The media plays into that.” Gabriel wants to change the narratives to include all Black people.
Instavideo Q&As On Challenges Black Women Face As Victims Of Police Violence (Scroll To View Videos):
Luke “Aidge” Patterson, 35, coordinator of People’s Justice, an organization focused on police accountability, said it has taken a long time for even the deaths of Black men to be recognized.
“It’s only been recently the news has been covering these cases that happen and it’s only because people have been rising up in mass numbers,” Patterson said. “When are we in our own communities going to hold up our sisters to be just as important as our brothers?”
Patterson said even though Black men face oppression, with the privilege men hold in society, the lives of women continue to be devalued.
“It is very real that Black men are under attack in this country, but recognizing the role of that patriarchy and that male-dominated society — it really shows within how we do undervalue the lives of women,” Patterson said.
Andrea Ritchie, 46, Soros Justice Fellow at Streetwise and Safe, an organization focused on sharing the ins and outs of encountering police as LGBTQ youth of color, said Black women are expected to play the roles of the mother, partner and sister of Black male victims of police brutality.
“Black women are saying that not only do we play those roles, we are also directly targeted by police for the same kinds of racial profiling, police brutality, and police killings,” Ritchie said. She added that sexual assault is the second most reported form of police abuse after excessive force, according to a 2010 Cato Institute study.
“Black women are starting to say, ‘No! It’s time we start standing up for all members of our communities and we need people to stand up for us the way we stand up for them,’” Ritchie said.
Ashley Love, 35, coordinator of Black Trans Women’s Lives Matter, shared some words at Boyd’s rally last month.
“Black women have been the strongest organizers since slavery and Jim Crow,” Love said. “And these are our sons, our brothers and our fathers that are being murdered, but when we need help sometimes I feel that they aren’t there. I was born with a medical condition. I am trans. But I don’t always feel comfortable disclosing that in some of these spaces because then I feel like the warmth goes to coldness. And it’s like, ‘Just be a cute little cheerleader and be there for the cause, but don’t talk about all that other stuff. It’s radical.’ All of our lives matter. Segregation was wrong for Black people, segregation is also wrong for transsexual people. We are not second-class women. We shouldn’t have to use separate restrooms and drink from separate drinking fountains, but that’s what’s going on right now.”
Love said Black transsexual and transgender women should be supported as well as all Black women. According to Ritchie, Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi are game changers because they’re hoping to make Black women and trans people the center of the movement.
“Women aren’t often seen as leaders,” said Garza, 34. “That’s always a challenge, dealing with patriarchy. We just get ‘invisibilized’… and not just Patrisse, Opal and myself. This is largely women-led, largely queer-led and trans-led.”
Arielle Newton, 23, the editor-in-chief and founder of blackmillennials.com, said attention to the most oppressed is growing.
“Women, in particular, have been on the forefront. I feel like we have been uplifted within the movement,” Newton said. “Now can more be done? Absolutely.”
According to Ritchie, Black women victims of police brutality and misconduct are receiving attention, but not enough. Thursday, May 21, there will be a national call of action for Black women and girls to end state violence against them and remember the victims. Hopefully many more people will come out and speak up for them.
Follow BLK Social Journalist (#BLKSocialJ) on Twitter, @DeronDalton.
It looks like Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson will be having an extended honeymoon. Earlier today, the WNBA announced that the newlyweds were both suspended due to a domestic violence incident that occurred back in April.
Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, will both be required to sit out the first seven regular games of the 2015-16 season. In a statement released by WNBA President Laurel J. Richie explains the suspension:
The WNBA takes all acts of violence extremely seriously. It is our strong belief that violence has absolutely no place in society, in sports or in this league.
As president, it is my responsibility to protect the league and uphold its values. Our athletes represent the WNBA, and they all must abide by the league’s standards of conduct. In this case, Brittney and Glory failed to do so, and that is unacceptable.
The WNBA immediately initiated its own investigation into the incident. It was extremely important for us to review the events thoroughly and carefully. Over the course of three weeks, the league conducted interviews with both players and three witnesses present for much of the altercation, and reviewed the police report, medical records, photos and other materials in order to determine the facts. Based on the WNBA’s investigation, the following summary of facts is largely undisputed.
In detail, Richie went on to discuss the incident that led to Johnson and Griner’s April arrest:
Brittney and Glory were involved in a physical altercation with each other at their home. It began when Glory pushed Brittney in the shoulder and Brittney pushed Glory in the back of the neck. The confrontation escalated to include wrestling, punches, and the throwing and swinging of various objects. Brittney received a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist, and Glory received a scratch above her lip and was diagnosed with a concussion.
Neither woman will be paid during the suspension period. And in addition to the suspension, they will be required by the league to attend individual counseling.
Brittney and Glory’s conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA and violates applicable law. We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline.
Griner and Johnson exchanged vows Friday, May 8, just two weeks after the violent incident.