I'm the friend that experienced molestation before age 6. I'm the friend that experienced inappropriate sexual relationships before age 18. I'm the friend that was sexually assaulted one evening with a dude I was dating before age 22. I'm the friend that did not report sexual violence to the police or any other law enforcement for that matter. As a matter of fact I am the friend that did not disclose the molestation to her parents until she was in her 20's. I'm the friend |THANK GOD| whose parents believed her.
Did you know that 1 in 15 Black women who have experienced sexual violence do not report the assaults or abuse. The statistic does not indicate who we did not report to, but it is clear to me that there is an element of sound that is not being heard from Black women and girls! The list of reasons why is endless; but here are a few.
Feeling the burden to not paint a bad picture of our communities and families
Protecting our loved ones
We did not know it was sexual violence
We heard other women in our family and community blame or label other victims as "loose" "ho-ish" or "ratchet"
Older women in our families blamed other family members for getting "caught out there"
I'm the friend that did not tell immediately after each assault. I'm the friend that did not have the words to describe what I lived through. I'm the friend that did not know it was ok to tell or that it was ok to say "no". I'm the friend that learned how to set boundaries and to speak my truth to power.
I am so grateful to have been loved and to love some amazing women! Women that have made themselves available to me when I needed to wash clothes but didn't have enough money for the laundromat. Women that decided to jump in the mud with me when I was struggling. I am grateful for tough loving women that speak their truth at all costs regardless of what others say about them! I am grateful for the women in my life that know how to be gentle and sweet on their husbands; it teaches me to do the same! I'm so grateful that the sum of shame and blame directed toward Black women and girls did not stop me from standing in my truth as an overcomer!
I'M CELEBRATING THE SISTERHOOD THAT IS BIRTHED
WHEN YOU DID NOT KNOW YOU NEEDED IT!
I am grateful to God almighty for creating these amazing women in His image! There have been so many Black & Brown women in my life (a few of them pictured above) and I salute them all. I praise God for your lives regardless of distance, time, or disconnection!
But we have to do better family!
We have to walk in the truth of justice, power, and love just like in Isaiah 1:17! We have to allow our friends and loved ones to see us be kind, gentle, available, correcting oppression, speaking up for the truth, and by all means loving others regardless of what they have been through!
Today let's dig deeper and pull out the junk that may be a stumbling block for our friends who've survived sexual violence. The stuff that may deter a friend away from The Lord. The stuff that might cause a friend to not seek God for total healing and restoration after being sexually assaulted.
Let's pull that stuff out that describes survivors and victims as partly or fully to blame and lay that at the feet of Jesus.
Let's gather those thoughts of pity (instead of His perfect love) toward our friends that have experienced sexual violence and lay that at the feet of Jesus.
Let's dig up all those things we heard our elders say growing up about survivors and victims that cause us to doubt our friend's truth and lay that at the feet of Jesus.
All this digging and laying down at His feet will make so much room for our friends, sisters, communities, aunts, elders, ministers etc to:
Live the abundant life Jesus promised
Love God without fear or shame
Let The blood of Jesus heal, set free, and redeem
Forgive themselves for any self-blame
Love themselves whole
Stand firm in their truth