I wanna preface this by saying that in no way do I condone abuse of any kind.
Have you ever wondered how an abuser becomes an abuser? I definitely have, and “Beaten by Love” by Sultana Sams gives an accurate depiction of how some men become abusive lovers. In this story, the main characters are Marlon and Fawn, a married couple that have been together since high school. Fawn, a sheltered Jehovah’s Witness, eagerly married Marlon, who came from a family of drug dealers, right out of school. Soon after marrying into the family, Fawn witnessed her father-in-law slap around a crackhead for not paying him on time. Shocked, she confronts her husband about his father’s behavior. But when Marlon smacks her in the face after asking about his father, she soon learns that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
Nine times out of ten, behaviors are learned, and abuse is no different. How did Marlon become an abuser? Well, he witnessed his drug dealing daddy abuse women all of his life. Is this an excuse? Absolutely not, but Marlon was the true definition of “product of his environment”. Speaking of environment, let’s take a moment to think about our black men and the environment(s) they grew up in. What implications does this have on their abusive tendencies?
Let’s look at the facts.
“According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately four out of 10 non-Hispanic Black women, American Indian, or Alaskan Native women, and one in two multi-racial non-Hispanic women have been a victim of physical violence, rape, and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetime (VeryWellMind.com, 2021).”
That’s up to 50% higher than what’s experienced by white women. What that tells me is that our men need resources and more opportunities to be better partners and live healthier and more emotionally sound lives. As previously stated, this by no means invalidates the victim, however, I am just recognizing that abusers need resources as well.
In honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I’d like to provide some resources for men who may be abusers.
The following website provides great information and resources for batterers and their families.
This website, The Center for Prevention of Abuse, provides resources for helping abusers as well. https://www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org/i-need-help-for-someone-else/helping-abusers/
"He really loved his beautiful family. It bothered him when he hurt Fawn. He hadn't meant for things to go so far. Physical abuse was what he was used to."