Church holds domestic violence seminar to heighten awareness

Church holds domestic violence seminar to heighten awareness
June 09
05:05 2016



Domestic Violence in this country has been swept under the rug for far too long. Victims are afraid to speak out in fear of retribution from their abusers. Abusers, afraid of others in the community becoming aware of their deplorable acts, are refusing to seek help.

To help give a voice to those who cannot speak out and bring awareness to the warning signs, Praise Assembly Church Ministries Inc. held a domestic violence seminar on Saturday, June 4.

The facilitator, Kenyetta Richmond of Family Service Inc., delivered information on things to look out for, as well as ways to help those who are dealing with this issue.

Family Services works collaboratively with government, education and other nonprofit organizations and residents to solve our community’s complex social problems, according to the website.  They also offer a multitude of programs such as childhood development, family violence, sexual assault, counseling and pregnancy/adoption.

Heightened awareness to this problem is seen as a necessity.

“Domestic violence is one of those issues that’s not spoken enough in our community or our churches until something happens and then it comes to the attention of everyone,” said Dr. Johnny York, Praise Assembly’s pastor.  “I think we can be proactive and get the information and the knowledge out and allow resources to be available for individuals who are victims of domestic violence. We felt an obligation to the community to sponsor this initial program.”

Last year, two members of Praise Assembly were involved in a domestic dispute that resulted in death for the husband and the wife.

Throughout the June 4 seminar, Richmond recounted countless stories of women and children who have been victimized and the trauma they have had to live through.

According to Richmond, most domestic violence victims do not reach out for help, and the average victim attempts to leave an abusive relationship seven times before they actually do.  Domestic abuse typically arises in four forms; physical, psychological, sexual and financial.  Many people only associate it with the physical form.

Men are not immune to domestic abuse, either. Most of the abuse on men is not physical but is typically emotional or verbal. Men are less likely to report such acts because of the negative stigma that is attached to men who report such crimes.  Many times they are looked upon as being weak or docile so they just endure it.

A question and answer session followed the seminar. It allowed audience members to obtain additional information and share stories of the abuse they suffered in the past.

An audience member who wished to remain nameless said, “For me as a child, I internalized the abuse I saw and heard my mother endure, and because of that, I suffered with anxiety.  I grew up with low self-esteem and constantly thinking that I was going to be a victim. It impacted all of us because my brothers grew up to be abusers, so the children are victims whether they are being touched or not.”

“As a victim of domestic violence, it affected me in terms of my parenting and my ability to enter into a healthy relationship. It also allowed others to control my life and rob me of my voice,” said Marva J. Edwards.

Advice for individuals who may be dealing with domestic violence from those who have lived through it was offered from those in attendance as well.

“At all costs reach out for help and know that you are not alone and there are others who are going through the same thing,” Edwards said.  “There are many resources to help a victim to help her reclaim her voice and live a happy life.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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