Attention Church folks:
I have an announcement that you should know: the issue of Domestic Violence is out in the world, and we need to talk about it. And assemble about it. Last year on this blog of mine, I talked about Love Is – Healthy Relationships. And it was about the related topics and events about DV from a female and male objectives. Plus also I brought up a relative of mine, Antonia Vann of Asha Family Services who back in the 1980’s was a victim of domestic violence that lived to tell her story. And on that Sunday there were two speakers even a male representative about the concerns of the issue. Remember that? It’s on here. Plus also, the United Methodist Church’s Women and Men Organizations a couple of years ago formed a unique historic partnership in discussing the dangers.
This year: it was Love Is – Part 2. The continued discussion about the concern. During the two day event, there were four guests that talked more into the topic. First, Erin Perkins of the City of Milwaukee was the first to speak.She gave an overview of the topics of domestic violence in which many do recognize. Ranging from examples of regarding age, sex, demographics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and many other areas of the spectrum. She also identified the behaviors of Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Financial, Spiritual abuse by using one’s religious beliefs against another and Identity Abuse based on the control of demean or manipulate one’s character in the arguments. And the part of the victims that don’t escape or leave their partners are due to the following examples:
- Fear of physical harm, retaliation, dealing with the legal system, or changing their situation
- Love for their significant other
- Lack of resources (housing, money, accessible programs)
- Isolation from supportive friends and family members
- Familial pressure
- Normalization of violence in the relationship
- A sense of guilt or responsibility for the abuse
- A desire to help their abuser
- Potential public shaming or humiliation
- Optimism that things will change
- Religious belief and values
These examples and many other are a ongoing effect of the use of domestic violence and in terms that many still struggle today. Plus also it’s also a reminder that these issues are still have to be discussed in various manners of concern.
The second speaker, Dolly Grimes-Johnson whom I know through family, was the next guest speaker for the event. She works for the Sojouner Family Peace Center here in Milwaukee, and her perspectives was very thought out. Some of the highlights she pointed out were explanatory of Domestic Violence in terms of Exercising caution – as in the signs, feelings, not changing habits or thinking, denial, etc. Abuse in terms of this can be both ways. Not just one way. Even Secrets or hidden agendas can factor into conflicts. And as far as the church is concerned, especially the church with Children, they need to hear the concerns too. Mainly with the Pastors, Members and others effected by Domestic Violence. And the reason why the church is in this because they have to recognize the concerns. Maybe some in the church can relate, or have gone through the examples listed. And when it concerns children and teens (mainly today) that have experienced that in their parents houses or families, it’s a moral issue to tackle and also needs to be on deck. And also when that arises, Dolly made a suggestion to developing safety plans, call family members, pastoral support and places to go when necessary.
The Final Speaker of the first day was from the Alma Center here in Milwaukee. This time, is coming from a male angle. James Mosley was the featured speaker and he opened up with a presentation with this video. This clip entails more about the effects of Domestic Violence.
I know what you’re thinking. What kind of video was this? This might be a cartoonish type presentation, but it does present a powerful message. Especially about when men are told that they are not to cry or show emotion. They are supposed to be tough, have sex with girls and many others. What I also learned after the video: the latter discussion of the manbox. Let me ask this question: Does any reader, any male of any race, or anyone in general knows what a manbox is? Has anyone heard or seen a manbox in various examples? Seriously, has anyone experienced manbox effects growing up? Has anyone in the female areas has talked about the manbox?
The reason why I’m bringing this up, is because it’s part of the reality that lingers with this issue. The manbox described in the video is like this sheltered rules that has been handed down. That is like a trait. And that trait is a deadly drug waiting to be taken or forcefully taken by those who just need to have it. In the Manbox, I learned several examples of why this is. All about the male not supposed to be like sissies, or pansies if you will. They are not supposed to cry or should that sensitive side per say. The Manbox tells the man to be tough, fight back, be the breadwinner. Not supposed to backdown. Not be a B.A.N. If you don’t know what that means it’s like a B-word A-word and the infamous N-Word. Including having power and control over females. And like I said it’s usually it’s a handed down trait. Why do I say this? You might have heard stories like, my daddy was like that, or I had uncles, grandfathers who were once like that. Or older cousins, etc were like the same thing. That also can contribute to the effects of Domestic Violence.
Men, we have to be real about this. This is a call out no matter who you are.
Plus also what I have learned that sometimes you have to fight back. I know I’m not the only one that has been in fights. For the first time in years, I had to highlight my news from elementary school to about the 9th grade. There were times growing up in Milwaukee, I’ve been a target of those who were bulling me. Yes, I was bullied. I was one of the students that was picked on not only by males but also by females. Now for the females the advice I got from my mother was the best way to fight back against them was to sit on them. Real talk males! Females, word of warning. But when it came to the males, was different. In elementary school to about middle school I was picked on as usual. And when word got out though my family about this I had to take self-defense classes with my late uncle, Robert Burton. After learning about the use of self-defense from the punches and kicks something was born in me of standing up for myself. Defending myself. All of that was just building up. And I was 11 years old. When middle school came there were folks that had to pester me. I fought back. Literally. When High School came, this was a different scene, but when I was a freshman at Marshall High School (again in Milwaukee) there were alot of food fights. Keep in mind this was December 1991 and I just turned 15 at the time. There was a time I was a subject of a food fight victim. The person kept bring it up in a English classroom and at the last miniute, I punched the guy in the back and we fought. I was suspended from the school for about two days. And everyone was talking about, who won? Who won? Nobody won. What I learned also, even when folks were “ribbing on you” sometimes you have to fight back. You can have all the contract student treaties signed all you want to. But the fact of the matter is, when you are provoked, sometimes you have to fight back! That person who made the “ribbing comment” back in high school was wrong. Even the peacekeeper who had to made me and the other student signed the treaty had to realize that also. But when my mother spoke to the Vice Principal at the time, she knew at a point in the conflict that I was provoked in that situation. And my mother is a former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher who dealt with the examples in her tenure. So yes, Mama knows! Even my father knows also. Simple there was time he had to get the advice from my late grandmother that if he didn’t fight back in school, my grandmother was going to come up to the school and beat him instead of him coming home and crying alot. True story. Ask any baby boomer that knows. Even my Vietnam Veteran Pastor said the same thing.
Lot of you reading this had to be like, WOW!!!!!!!! And some of you had to be like really?!!!! You got bullied and got suspended from Marshall? I mean good dudes like you shouldn’t be suspended from that.” That don’t mean nothing. It don’t. Was I pissed about it? Pardon my french: Hell yes! Keep in mind this was 1991.
But what does that have to do with Domestic Violence or this “Manbox”. For the Manbox portion, this was a prime example of fighting back. Taking charge. Either he rules over you, or you strike back. And no I didn’t use no guns. The only weapon I used was my self-defense. And if anyone thinks that words or ribbing if you will don’t make you fight back. Guess what, sometimes they do. For many who don’t feel that way, check the mirror. Especially in this day of Social Medias and junk. Has anyone made a rattlesnake mad? Or a provoke a dog to fight or bite you? Or poking a bear? If those animals (no matter how deadly they can be), they can strike back. And the reason why, is because you made the move to bother them!
So for all you who feel it’s no big deal, think about it. Matter of fact, ponder on it. I know I’m not advocating violence here. Or making those feel put down. But this was my experience. And many of you probably had gone through the same thing.
Finally, on Sunday the guest Speaker Pastor Valerie Hill of Faith Church Milwaukee gave a sermon about Love Is and her perspectives. Her sermon reminds us that even though there are concerns, of violence even domestic violence, the use of Love still lingers. Her message also says that there are times that God wants us to do more with our neighbors, families and friends. She also said, in regarding the use of Love in various examples, “We must be resilient.” and “We must be God Fearing.” – Now when she said God Fearing, we have to be mindful that God can take away gifts! Take way things and talent we hold dear. And it’s like saying that if you use the gifts that the Lord brings you, it’s gone the next. You can love God all you want, but fear should not be taken slightly. That’s part of the fear. Other examples of the use the word Love in her sermon, “If I love you, then I will work with you until God says otherwise.” So in meaning if God put me with a person to work with, per say I’ll work with that person until the Almighty says so. Nothing more. And one of the lasting thing she commented: “We the church are challenged today. And whoever shows up, shows out!” – Yes, spotters: The church is now being challenged today. It’s being challenged in lessons, community, people, believers, and also non-believers. I comment alot previously about those who like to post commentary pics of those who like to stop religion or believe that church is fake, Christ wasn’t a real person, or the Hypocrites have taken over. Its’ all over the place. It’s all phony! All sheeple talk.
The folks can protest all they want. But will that protest last on their death beds or hospital tables? Or asking for help when those have been abandoned? We better learn today Inspirational Faith and non-Faith folks!
Overall, we as a church are being challenged to do more. The church should step up and step out as not just a once a week thing, but an everything common cause. I get it. I say this as a 4th Generation Church Member of the UMC. Even to advocate the concerns of Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships. So yes, folks. I will say that the church knows what’s up. We see the joys and the concerns. Some of us will show up and out to assist which is not a bother. But the message we’ll take about this matter will indeed continue.
For further clarification: Check out the City of Milwaukee Health Department on Domestic Violence, The Sojouner Family Peace Center, and the Alma Center for more info about the related topics of Domestic Violence.
Plus also: The United Methodist Men and Women have forged a partnership years ago about this topic and I think ALL United Methodists should be engaging in this manner. Even if you are not United Methodist but still be in the conversation. No matter what church or religious, or community advocate group you’re part of.