Black Women, Sexual Abuse, Black Love—-We have issues we need to confront, changes to make and a revolution to contribute to!!!
I’m on the search for individuals who would like to be part of the change!
At my university, Howard University I am working to start an organization for victims of sexual abuse. The organization is called Woman E.N.U.F.(Empowerment. Nirvana. Unification. Freedom).
When I say it is “for” victims of sexual abuse I mean that it will serve as a support group and place of refuge (nirvana) for those who have been sexually abuse and a way that we especially educate Black men about the unfortunate effects of having experienced sexually abuse, along with educating women who have not been victims about the effects is has, how to protect themselves and what to do if they in fact do become victims themselves. It is something that is very prevalent in the Black community and I do believe if we start to pinpoint this happening to our women we can build stronger, together as Black people.
Now people many times ask me, or tell me I should include it for all women who have been sexually abused. By choice, and in the need to do things productively I am only doing this for Black women. Why? Because we need this in our society. We need someone to speak directly to Black women who have been abused, because we are more likely to experience it than our white counterparts. Also, how we are portrayed sexually or stereotyped to be sexually says that something like this is even more necessary. Historically, Black women are not allowed to be sexual, we haven’t even been seen as humans. So with that the idea has been if you don’t see someone as human, why would you care if they have been violated, abused, raped, taken advantage or murdered emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Or why would you care if you did something like that to them. Simply because we are colored we are seen as also being sexual, non-virgins, not pure, sexual objects (whether we are or not and btw I do believe a women’s purity has nothing to do with her sexual history or lack their of-it is something that can never be taken from her). And sexual objects can only be objectified, used for the sexual satisfactions of men, for their own pleasure.
Or I am told I should do it for men also. Well honestly at this point we won’t be doing that. But someday when the organization goes national I would like to expand to having a Man E.N.U.F. that serves Black men who have been victims of sexual abuse.
Or it should also cover other areas of abuse. Again, in order to be productive we can’t cover EVERYTHING. This will hopefully inspire others to create something for others themselves such as organizations for domestic violence (which do exist) or mental abuse, etc. But generally sexual abuse towards a human is not the only abuse they experience, so Woman E.N.U.F. will still aid in helping survivors confront other areas of abuse.
Previously in this post I mentioned that we are also seeking to educate Black men about the effects sexual abuse has on a black woman. Now, these days it is more common for a man to call a woman a bitch, a slut, a hoe etc etc (Y’all see it all the time on social networks). It is actually quite disgusting. A lot of men have this thought that they have the right to judge a woman based on her sexual history (or lack thereof). Both men and women today think, whether they realize they are doing it or not…that a woman’s worth is in how many men she has slept with or not slept with (you know when you gossip about a woman sleep with so and so last night at a party, or look down on her for who you have heard she slept with, how many men she slept with etc). A lot of women don’t even realize they are asserting this misogynistic view of women by doing this themselves and putting other women down. I do believe, especially in the Black community it is something we can’t allow. In order for Black love to grow we have to truly understand one another. And with that said, Black men need to understand that black women experience sexual abuse (statistically 33% of women of color have been sexually abused before they are 18). They need to understand what it does to her mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. They need to make sure they are not perpetrators of abuse themselves. THIS right here can help strength Black love! A man who understands the effects, listens to a woman’s story will understand her trust issues, why she may have used sex as an outlet to find love, why she may have been promiscuous, why she may not have slept with anyone and avoided men, they will understand how she thinks, why she thinks that way etc etc.
They will understand WHO she is and WHY she is who she is. We would hope to show them all of that plus more. But today it is becoming increasingly normal not to even take the time to do anything like that——getting to know a person. We want to hit all of these problems, all of the problems we as women face because we have been sexually abused. We want to hit this problem in our generation. The same goes for why we need to educate women who have not been abused themselves. We need sisterhood and brotherhood, LOVE overall to be stronger in the Black community. This right here can be a step.
The name was thought of by a friend of mine, Lex. The ENUF comes from one of my favorite plays/choreopoems “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange. We want this organization to empower women, to give them a place of peace and refuge or nirvana, to unify them and free them from the abuse.
So Howard University is the first step towards that. Woman E.N.U.F. will be coming to Howard very very soon! Right now I am looking to find a build a team of passionate individuals, who may or may not have stories of abuse themselves. It can be people who attend Howard or not. I am looking for assistance in any way. Also, right now I am working on the constitution for the organization so that it is of course official on campus. Also, I would like to have an informational meeting where we get as many people as possible to come out and listen and learn about a new resource on campus. This meeting will be emotional and hopefully will open a lot of people’s minds. I want it to be standing room only!!! Included in the meeting, we would like a 5 to 10 minute video where we interview a few sexual abuse survivors and go into someone of the effects. Something very artistic and deep. Also, right now I am working on a marketing scheme to attract people. For example, we might do a “No Secrets” subject for the informational meeting. It would mean we put boxes around campus that instruct people to anonymously put their secrets in the box. My adviser told me she did this for a suicide prevention event and most of the secrets were of sexual abuse. Then I want to use the secrets and create a huge art piece and put it right in the middle of campus! It is my belief that you have to put things right in people’s face, appeal to their emotions in order to spark change.
Then after the meeting we will start having support group meetings and events where we discuss sex, abuse and everything in between, performances, art shows, EVERYTHING!
If you know anyone who has been sexually abused or maybe you have been yourself please reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or on here. If you would like to tell your story or become part of the organization let me know! We have changes to create and building to do. We all deserve to be free from mental, emotional, physical and spiritual restraints. We all deserve to be happy.
And this is for colored girls…who are moving to the ends of their own rainbows.