Are We Having A Communication Breakdown When It Comes To Promoting Safety For Black Tweens?

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, 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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18 comments to Are We Having A Communication Breakdown When It Comes To Promoting Safety For Black Tweens?

  • XXX

    One serious way of solving a lot of this problem lies squarely in the hands of black women. It involves a question every black girl should ask herself very early in life. It's a question I asked myself as a child. Do I want to procreate with a black male. Do I effectively want to end my life and the life of a child before it's begun. My answer was/is a resounding NO! It's much easier to escape and maneuver through life without the offspring of something that doesn't love you, both individually and en masse, holding you back. Black males don't deserve the legacy of children. I REPEAT!!! Black males don't deserve the legacy of children. Black males do none of the things that would distinguish them as men. Chief among these is protecting and nurturing their young, creating a safe place for their young to grow up in and policing any and all threats to their offspring etc. Black males perform none of the basics of an animal in the jungle or forest. As black women we have a choice to only procreate with MEN. Many, many, many black women are stuck in the ghetto because they have oow children. Seriously sisters, why do you think the 'impregnate and vacate' doctrine exists where ever black males are on this planet? It's the best way to trap a woman. So while we're teaching black girls martial arts, gun slinging and track and field stunts, we had better teach them to keep their legs closed at all costs. Teach them how to be free!

  • Jamila

    I think the main way that we should be trying to support the physical safety of black women and girls is by DESTROYING these crime-riddled communities. The attrocities committed at Dunbar Towars, Rowan Village, and the recent events in TX will not be solved by teaching our girls fighting and running skills. Men/boys are still stronger, faster, and have greater upper-body strength than girls; and one of the main tactics of these predatory men is to use overwelming force via greater numbers to intimated the victim and shock-and-awe techniques to disorient the victim. If these communities are not completely DESTROYED then there is nothing that will make the women and children in these communities safe.

    Notice that Dunbar Village and Rowan Towers were public housing projects. One thing we could do to destroy the types of communities where these attrocities take place is to stop supporting public housing but instead only issue vouchers which are good for a set amount of time, i.e., you can get a section 8 voucher but you can only be on section 8 5-7 years. This would atleast serve to de-concentrate these criminals in one place.

  • MsMellody

    Pt. 2
    I am just saddened to the core to read that a man of his particular standing with DIRECT influence in the guidance of an educational system anywhere in these Americas could say such a thing…AND that in a room full of PASTORS no one stopped him ..or stood to correct his comments!!!

    That TOO SPEAKS volumes to the edict being handed out to Black women in the church by these VERY SAME pastors…that being… "sit down and just wait on your husband..but in the mean time do ALL the heavy lifting here at the choich and keep them dollars comin".

    Faith, thank you for yet another great article. I have a personal response to this call to action in regards to young girls. I will submit that comment under sepereate response!

  • MsMellody

    Hi TruthP;

    THis superintendent of that Jersey school district is an example of a degreed/suit wearing DBR Black man.

    I see from his comments here that he had no problem whatsoever making a statement like that. I absolutely shudder to think about how he has ran that school district. I shutter to think of all the female teachers he has bullied, smeared and subjected to his unchecked hatred of black
    I am sure there will be a backlash to come following the public outing of his comments. I am absolutely certain that a man like this is no stranger to domestic abuse, abuse of power, and as you cited "cronyism"..or a more polite word "patronage jobs for his male buddies and possibly for female friends who cow-towed to his sexism".

  • Faith

    I'll speak to you privately in response.

  • Shermy

    2 of 2

    On the silence issue, I think Americans in general has an extremely difficult time talking about anything substantial and solution based. They're happy to keep things on the surface and distract themselves with less serious issues. Couple that with the squimishness around sexuality and you have a dangerous precident for continued silence. I don't know many people who can even openly talk about gang rape as adults, let alone have a productive conversation surrounding the protection of children from such an act. That seems beyond the scope of many considering the OOW rate that could be countered by informative conversations about birth control for instance. Sure, there are some of us who can handle it, but I'm going to wager few mothers or organizations can comfortably confront their tween daughters/members on the possibilities/realities of sexual violence.

  • Shermy

    1of 2
    Faith! This is a POWERFUL post and I agree with you COMPLETELY! I believe you reached the heart of the matter when you said: "We must have men actively engaged in policing the behavior of other men." Until this happens, atrocities like the ones you mentioned will sadly continue. Yes, we can protect ourselves as much as we possibly can, but the crux of the issue is that men willingly participate in this type of violence with borderline impunity and women are blamed for the actions of men. And given there is little, if any, interest by black men as a collective to police this type of behavior, I see little that can be done by black women (w/the exception of FLEEING, taking up arms, & taking up a martial art, etc.). In my mind, it is a man's job to protect women from other men. If that instinct isn't there, the women around these animals suffer which is what we're seeing right now…