By Brandon Johnson
According to University of Minnesota’s Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community, in 2005, black people accounted for almost 1/3 of all intimate partner homicides in this country. A 1996 study showed that 29% of black women and 12% of black men reported at least one instance of violence from and intimate partner and statistically, battered women have more physical ailments, mental health issues and are less likely to practice safe sex.
These are but a few of the many facts associated with domestic violence and abuse in the African-American community, and it was with this knowledge and the understanding of the importance of healthy dialogue about these situations and available resources for those in need, that Harmonious Solutions decided to organize their “Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse Community Workshop.” Held at 5106 Federal Blvd an intimate group comprised of clinicians, professionals and community members gathered into the conference room on Saturday, January 11th to converse, get informed and to gain a better understanding from various perspectives.
CEO and Founder of Harmonious Solutions Kahalifa King shared, “This is something you do not normally get a chance to do – have regular folks and the clinicians who are delivering services in the same room talking about the same issues that impact everybody. It gives us a continuing starting point to discuss the issues of domestic violence that we are so silent about but that impacts so many people in our communities.”
Facilitated by Mitchell Campbell and Henrietta Steele, some of the topics of discussion revolved around sobering statistics of abuse and especially abuse in the black community; the various types of abuse to include: Physical, Sexual, Emotional, Psychological and perhaps the less often realized Economical. After lunch they touched on more subjects including, “The Role of the Black Church” and “What Can be Done to End the Silence?”
“There’s violence and there’s abuse – they are different but they are connected,” King shared. “What we like to say is that if we don’t have all of the information we can refer people to other resources in the community, because you don’t have to stay in a violent situation that’s life threatening.” The message is there is an alternative and a life after domestic violence. With the slogan “We help hurting people,” Harmonious Solutions continues to be a powerful and effective resource to help people find emotional health and a peace of mind. For more information they can be found at www.harmoniouslifesolutions.org