Changing the Narrative
As a Black woman, the effects of domestic violence along with ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) in minority communities are areas in which I have dedicated myself.
The ACE tallies different types of abuse/neglect and how it affects a person’s later life. It is a good place to start, but its questions need to be revised. The form should include new, more relevant scenarios. My score was low, but the resulting damage was significant.
The body keeps a count. Your body remembers each and everything you go through in your life. Emotions are the vehicles the body relies on to find balance after an emotional or physical trauma. Because of the above stated facts, more than three percent of U.S. adults and one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime. I am one of 11 people.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 41.2% of Black women and 36.3% of Black men have experienced intimate partner physical violence in their lifetimes; 53.8% of Black women and 56.1% of Black men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetimes; and 17.4% of Black women and 14.8% of Black men have experienced intimate partner sexual violence (other than rape) in their lifetimes.
Through my pen and voice, I strive to be a resource to those who have been silenced by fear. I am committed to serving middle and high school aged girls in under-resourced, under-served or low-income communities through an after school and Saturday life development programs. It is important to introduce young women of color on the benefits of financial literacy, women’s health, culinary arts, fine arts, traveling and community service projects that connects them to the world around them; and more importantly to themselves.
Because of the pain I have felt from not having my mother in my life, I fought hard to make sure my own daughter never felt that kind of pain. This personal crusade led to my second book, A Mother’s Love Through A Broken Heart. I know first-hand how damaging it can be to young girls when they do not have a mother-daughter relationship with the person who gave birth to them. Growing up feeling worthless is a unique pain that never goes away, it just dulls. I want to help change that reality. I also want women to know what even if they had a rough childhood, and no positive examples to follow, that does not have to be their children’s story.
I believe that if I can provide mental health services to young women of color, as a mental health professional, I can help to change the narrative of women of color. I want to create a social-emotional learning-based curriculum centered around girls improving their confidence. I will focus on habits, building healthy relationships, overcoming distractions, and getting rid of negative self-talk. My focus is to provide support to ensure a positive and beneficial experience. I am confident that together, especially during these unprecedented times, we will be successful in achieving their targeted goals.
I want young girls to learn what it means to follow their dreams no matter how scary the idea may be. I want them to never feel the need to apologize for who they are and to be a more determined person. And to remember that what they learn becomes a part of who they are.