Dear Mr. Police, dear society

I need help, too, at times,
but I’m afraid to call, then die,
by the hand that’s supposed
to protect me and my children’s lives.
How can I trust you when I know,
you were drilled to kill.
I’m driving my car, feeling like
I’ve just taken a suicide pill.

Can I really live freely,
when all I ever see
is how this country keeps violating my right
to be presumed innocent until proven guilty?
And whatever happened to
all humans are born free
and equal in rights and dignity?!

Am I not human to you,
is that why you shoot,
hunt me down, murder me
and execute
my sons and my daughters,
my sisters and brothers?
In my street alone
I know three mourning mothers.

Because their husbands and sons
caught bullets and cases.
I see scars on their hearts
and tears on their faces.
I live in a…

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Mental Health & Firearms

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What’s your primary emotion?

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African American Boys and Sexual Abuse

A boy who is being sexually abused might start acting out overly sexualized behavior and may demonstrate precocious sexual behavior or knowledge. Boys are more likely to express their pain by being angry and moody or sullen and silence. If a boy discloses his sexual abuse and nothing happens or he is punished for telling someone, the effects will be much worse. He might become aggressive and show more anger than usual and may be a walking time bomb and after a while just explode. A boy might stop enjoying some of his favorite activities. He might begin to dress in ways to hide his body. Males will most likely turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with stress. Boys tend to be more violent in their self-destructive behaviors.

As adult survivors, men have a harder time integrating what happened to them because of the society’s idea of manhood. For some men, the sexual abuse leads them to question constantly their identity and their masculinity. They may become hyper-masculine, acting violently towards gay men. These men often lack the ability to be intimate, because intimacy requires confidence and trust and those things are damaged. Because of their experience, the only affection they can give or receive is sexual affection.

 Source: Atchison, Dr. Gabrie’l J. . Silent Rage: African American Boys and Sexual Abuse

Stay in the here and now – focus on the future

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SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men stated that they have experienced sexual abuse as a child!

14% percent of all child and adolescent sexual abuse victims are male. 20% of sexual abuse of boys involves female perpetrators.

66% of all sexual assault victims reported that they had been 18 years old or younger at the time they were victimized. In 95% of the cases the offender was either a relative or an acquaintance such as babysitter, family friend etc.

Many African Americans believe child sexual abuse is more common among white people. But statistics show that African Americans experience sexual victimization as children almost at the same rate.

African-American women are more reluctant to report cases of child sexual abuse to authorities than white women. Distrust of the police and institutions lead them to keep sexual abuse cases family business.

Among African Americans, homophobia perpetuates the denial of sexual abuse of boys.

Abuse is more likely to be reported among low-income families.

African American women reported that they were being more severely abused and greater force was used. They also suffer from greater long-term effects and more negative life experiences from sexual abuse than white women and they develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance and drug abuse etc.

23 percent of all sex offenders are adolescents. Experts say young abusers are more responsive to treatment than adults.

Child sex offenders seem to victimize more often than other sexual offenders. Seventy percent of perpetrators had between one and nine victims and 23 percent had victimized between 10 and as many as 40 children.

Child sexual abusers isolation, manipulations to target and control and silence their victims.

Trauma and the African American Community

Those who suffer the pain of trauma have a hard task at hand, too. They must be willing to feel their own pain and share it with others. Although whatever traumatized them is not their fault, it is their responsibility to get whatever help they need to heal. They must take the time to allow their pain to come forth, to hold it, to acknowledge it. They must be willing to accept the help and support of others, and to reject seemingly easy fixes: addiction, denial, blaming. All of these responses to trauma end up perpetuating it. This is not a brief process or an easy one. But it is the foundation for the healing of trauma at both the individual and community levels.

Hicks-Ray, Denyse. The Pain Didn’t Start Here: Trauma and Violence in the African American Community

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