April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month . Since I was inspired or should I say motivated by the horrifying reports that indicate an increase in gang rapes of young girls to respond proactively rather than engage in empty venting, I have experienced a curious case of silence amongst some of the victim advocacy and child enrichment programs in trying to address this escalating trend.
For example, Boys & Girls Clubs Of America states their mission is (amongst other things): Inspiring and enabling all young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. I am still waiting a response from the local club I contacted nearly one month ago. Now I may be ‘doing it wrong’ as the kids say these days, but I guess I thought if I emailed and called an organization offering to volunteer my time and resources for free to help reinforce the self-esteem of young girls and discuss a practical initiative for self-defense that people would jump at the chance. It’s not as if I don’t have a million other things to do.
If we focus on training girls in self-defense, beefing up security, building self-esteem and rebuilding family structures along with heavier penalties for crimes would the rape stats decrease? Sexual violence is the most under-reported crime in this country – so I’m not sure because if it was accurately reported there’d be a greater percentage. Also, with so many state and federal budget cuts, it’s already a threadbare situation for organizations that are depending on being given aid. With a 3-to-1 ratio of potential victimization that’s rather scary prospect isn’t it? There may be greater focus on college students or older women [read about the new "advisory" under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual assault, in education], but the trends are indicative of a younger population of girls being targeted because they’re easier to get to. Boys are also assaulted, but this forum focuses exclusively on the needs of women so I’m going to touch on the impact to them. We can however continue to educate boys and men on appropriate behavior. People will need to continue to be ever-vigilant in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
I was particularly motivated after reading a searing post at the now-archived Sojourner’s Passport forum (sniff) that specifically addressed the dangers present in certain black-occupied residential areas.
AT THIS POINT, ONLY NEGLIGENT PARENTS CONDEMN THEIR DAUGHTERS TO THE GREATLY ENHANCED RISK OF GANG RAPE CREATED BY LIVING IN BLACK RESIDENTIAL AREAS
At this point, it’s obvious there will be an ever-increasing number of atrocities inflicted on the (mostly Black) women and girls who live or pass through Black residential areas. And since this is obvious, any Black parent who keeps their daughter living within African-American Rwanda zones is a negligent parent.
While some people don’t want to have these unflinching evaluations they are not the ones who are most likely to suffer the damage from being wrong. Surely you remember Dunbar Village and Rowan Towers? If you didn’t know about these crimes, welcome to hell on earth right here in the good ol’ US of A. Heck, you can pull the archives between 2007-2009 at What About Our Daughters for a plethora of crimes committed against black girls and women that will make you sick.
Do I need to be a mother to care about the welfare of young girls? Do I need to be a politician or a social worker or a celebrity to ring the alarm? My goodness, I’ve created an online forum to address the ways black girls (and women) have been denigrated and unprotected and how we can implement strategies and adopt mentalities and reinforce expansive expectations to combat this. Acts Of Faith In Love and Life is going into its fourth year and according to my stats will have increased to a seven-figure readership this year. Not bad for a blog that had 30 readers at most when I first started, eh?
Perhaps I’m expecting a much faster response, but I’d hate to think the slow-footedness has to do with the race of the girls being victimized. Or the misguided (and willfully ignorant) response of some with “liberal” leanings to take pity on the PERPETRATORS because they are “downtrodden”? Forget about the insane responses from some blacks ( even worse black women) who immediately want to blame a child for being raped by claiming they “asked for it”.
We know that as a group white girls and women are protected far more, though still rather imperfectly. That’s because the men of the group have a vested interest in protecting those they consider their own – as it should be. They also have to combat the criminal behavior of errant males lest it damage the dominance of their group. Also, one of the successful political campaigns feminists have introduced is in enacting societal pressure to combat such abuse. The difference is you will see reports on local news, cable shows, tv reports and legislation even that seeks to redress this. There are a plethora of organizations. It’s not as if there’s this utter silence.
Which brings me to the black community at large. I know there are individuals who care and have taken measures to combat this: see Black And Missing for example. Of course the desire to include “everyone” still detracts from a singular focus on the protection of only blacks – but that’s another topic for a different post. We must have men actively engaged in policing the behavior of other men. The lack of a cohesive response within certain communities and across nationalities is appalling. This is one of the many reasons why I’ve written about the community being “dead” because of non-productive reactions such as these. I know that if your own “people” don’t care why should anyone else extend themselves, but some other people do. For women in developing nations (go down the list of African countries for example) there are whole agencies designed to address helping women who survive sexual crimes. Here in the United States – not so much when it’s a race and ethnic-based initiative for black girls and women specifically.
The lack of resources coupled with apathy spells disaster for black children. We’re seeing the future being played out slowly and steadily. Since it has expanded from mostly black girls to any girl living amongst certain residential cesspools or in close proximity to those with a cesspool mentality, the greater society-at-large (read that as non-blacks) will step in to address this sooner rather than later. You can bank on that!
When those of us who saw the advantages of technology advancing it’s one of the first things black women who live here in the United States focused on discussing: issues occurring in their own backyard. Bypassing the gatekeepers was absolutely necessary because they had zero interest in covering matters of interest. We also needed a platform we controlled to head off the naysayers who wanted us to keep our heads in the sand and solely focus on the perpetual struggles of black males as the single most important issue facing blacks. Which of course ignores the needs of black women. There’s nothing “exotic” about talking about a major metropolitan area or a small rural town compared to far away lands of “refugees”, but the violence and attitudes (occurring at the hands of black males against black women) are identical. This is how the Black Women Empowerment social justice movement took shape.
Living a life motivated by faith in action that increases prosperity for black women and African-American in particular is my passion. I am in the midst of building that life and invite you to join me in creating good will and opportunities for all. of us. Allies are more than welcome. Detractors and leeches can take a flying leap!
Despite the delay in a response I am still determined to see this take shape. I was conducting some research and found a few other organizations I’d like to see participate. I also found this great site 10 Simple Lessons In Self-Defense For Girls. It’s just certain girls need more immediate and direct help. I may have specifically mention sexual assault but the other adjacent issue is abuse within those with blood ties. I’m asking the readers to reach out to the following orgs and continue pursuing counter measures. Together we can make great things happen.
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