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Love Notes from Sil Lai: Domestic Violence 101

by Sil Lai Abrams

Few things in our community are as controversial as the ongoing debate on what exactly constitutes domestic violence…well, maybe colorism, interracial dating, and hair…but I digress. Every time a notable Black man is charged with assaulting a woman, it becomes abundantly clear that when it comes to domestic violence, there is a whole lot of division and confusion on the issue.

The most recent high profile DV incident happened a couple of weeks ago when football player Chad Johnson was arrested for allegedly head butting his wife Evelyn Lozada during a heated argument around his purported infidelity. Online commentary showed that many feel that violence is a normal occurrence in intimate relationships and to be expected when things get heated.  There were a few who said that any sort of violence was unacceptable.  Then, you have a whole lot of people who fall somewhere in between these two camps.

As a survivor of domestic violence, it is mind boggling to consider how many Black people are active supporters of the use of violence in relationships. In the Digital Court of Black Public Opinion, Evelyn Lozada got what she deserved when Chad Johnson (allegedly) head butted her because she has hit other women in the past.  When Evelyn subsequently spoke out against domestic violence, folks became even more incensed.  How in the hell could this woman have the nerve to stand up and say domestic violence is bad when she herself is on tape attacking other women?

As I watch the insults grow, it seems crystal clear:  most people have absolutely no idea about what domestic violence actually is.

Domestic violence is a term that is used today to describe any violence in an intimate relationship.  However, not all acts of violence are considered battering (also known as “intimate partner terrorism”).  Famous depictions of battering include Ike & Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It and Celie & Mister in Alice Walker’sThe Color Purple.

Read More at Ebony.com

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2 Responses to Love Notes from Sil Lai: Domestic Violence 101

  1. Donna Dawson Reply

    August 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    As an survivor of domestic violence I found that the absuer has been in a lot of violent situations. Such as being in prison, violence in the home and that’s all they know in dealing with situations. If the cycle can be stopped it would take an act of God only because classes or jail time wont cure the problem.

  2. Tawnymarie Reply

    August 26, 2012 at 4:48 am

    I have never found it cool to joke about or downplay Domestic Violence because I have seen it far too many times in different places,races,gender and lifestyles. I do believe there is a degree of violence that needs to be defined. What happened between Chad J and his wife should be called assault against another person in the heat of passion,anger rage or whatever you want to call it. When a women is being beat on a day to day bases for nothing in front of her children because a Mofo is sick in the mind for whatever reason, because he always has a reason only he feels makes him justified on beating a weak individual to the point of no return, is what should be classified as Domestic Violence. I have seen women come out far more worse than just a headbutt, I have even seen death because of Domestic violence it’s not just one person that suffers it’s a whole chain reaction and that is one of the countless things that makes Domestic Violence very bad. I wish and pray to God that every women is able to leave a situation after a headbutt or sign of things to come. The only credit Homegirl should get is she did just that.

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