Happy Monday! I have a full house for the week, so up trying not to awaken my guests “quiet post”, shh. I’m sharing an interview I conducted with a domestic violence advocate, Darlene Greene. Please feel free to share this important info to all of your sistah friends!
You recently published Blood Relatives, a valuable resource for victims of Domestic Abuse and a personal testament to your own personal loss. We’ll talk about your book in a moment, but, first, tell us about Ina Mae Greene Foundation-For My Sisters.—
The Ina Mae Foundation, named for my sister Ina Mae who was lost to an act of domestic violence in 1990. I realized that my sister died because she did not know how to leave her abuser safely. We started the foundation in 1998. The focus of our foundation is to connect victims of relationship violence with agencies and services that will help them leave a violent or potentially deadly situation safely. As well as work to raise awareness about the devastating effect that domestic violence had on our community and our Country.
You share the stories of your cousin, aunt and sister in Blood Relatives Breaking the Cycle…Breaking the Silence. Can you express some of their memorable traits that maybe defined their character? —–
Ina Mae was a very witty young woman; she loved to dance and was always doing things that would make us laugh, her laugh was quit contagious. —- My Aunt Minnie was a beautiful woman, she was always stylishly dressed, hair and face done to perfection. She wore red lipstick and she would kiss me and my sibling’s on the cheek with those red lips and leave a lip print, we would cry to not wash off Aunt Minnie’s lipstick!—My cousin Maggie, another beautiful woman. She was warm and funny, she had a way of making me feel special, even as a little girl she had a way of talking with me so that it made me feel important, that what I had to say mattered. She was never too busy to talk with me or spend time with me. I know that she loved me unconditionally and I will always miss her.
I don’t know if any other reader brought this to your attention, but, I’m still reeling from the lack of empathy and concern on the part of law enforcement in bringing those men in each case to justice! What a disservice you/r family must have felt?—
It was hard for us in each case because it seemed that we had no one to turn to for help. After Ina’s murder the police were protecting their own, (her killer was a cop), and it felt like a betrayal to us because we were the victims in all this, but we were made to feel as if we had done something wrong because we were upset and reacted to the situation and was angry about what happened to my sister.—– In the case of my Aunt Minnie, hers was the only case I feel that we had help from law enforcement, I think we were helped because her brother was a cop, again they were protecting their own, but only this time it worked in our favor. Her killer was caught very quickly and was sentenced to murder. He served 20 years of a 25 year murder sentence—-But with Cousin Maggie I don’t believe they looked for him all that hard. It was 1963, no internet, no crime data bases, so I believe that he simply left the state, and got away with murder.
You addressed this in your book and in light of a recent abuse case in the celebrity news realm, regarding a famous chef and author why do you think women stay in abusive situations, given what we already know; that women cannot change these men? –
One thing is that these women (ones in violent relationships) often believe they love the men they are involved with.In those cases abuse can be a trap that looks like love. In chapter nine of the book I talk about the “lies at first sight” that men often tell women to convince them that a relationship with him will be the beginning of true love. Often the women, no matter how educated, how rich, how talented (myself included), want to believe the lie that this can be a loving relationship, when this man who likely has no idea what a healthy and living relationship is, has no other objective than to control and manipulate her.
At the end of the day we all want love and a connection with another person. We are brought up to believe that our roles as women are not completed unless we have a mate. There is nothing wrong with wanting a loving relationship, but what we have to realize as women is that we deserve respect in that relationship and that working though hard stuff in a relationship should not include being made to feel humiliated or scared or have to suffer physical abuse to show a man who you love him and that you are committed. If he is asking you to do that, he does not love you and the relationship will likely never be the one you seek.
I’ve been following your work and I read how you were reluctant to answer your calling. How do you feel today, after taking on such an important issue mainly affecting women and girls? —
Although a difficult and often heart breaking task, I am happy I began the work and hope that I am making a difference. I work hard every day to continue to educate myself about this issue and this crime. I want to insure that the information that I am giving is both current and correct. This is an important issue that is getting too little attention unless it is to discuss how a woman had been murdered at the hands of her husband or the father of her children. There are more resources, shelters and services to assist victims of relationship violence than ever before in history, yet there are more cases of abuse reported to police than ever before in history!
This is a crime that keeps getting bigger and harder to defeat. We need the schools, the churches, the workplace and families to take on the responsibility of talking about this crime and teaching young woman and men about the consequences of abusing your partner, both physically and verbally. We cannot afford as a community, as a country to continue to ignore this crime and pretend it is not happening to us and the people we love.
Please tell us the four important rules that victims of stalkers should follow.
Once you have made it clear to the stalker that his or her attention is not welcomed, there are some things you should start to do to be safe;
1.Have no contact with the stalker, that means you, your family, your best friend, NO contact
2.Tell someone—as with abuse do not suffer in silence, let someone know what you are going though
3.Increase personal protection; let someone know when you are scheduled to arrive at your destination, ask them to call to check on you if you are not there on time. Lock doors and windows, close your blinds at night, get a home security system if you can afford one and never go out late at night alone if you know you are being stalked or followed.
4.Collect Evidence- emails, texts, phone messages, photographs, gifts he sends to you, all of these things can be useful if you are forced to take your stalker to court
Where can readers purchase a copy of Blood Relatives and please give us contact information/links to your valuable resource sites
Blood Relatives is available on our website—www.inamaegreene.org—Amazon.com and apple iBook through iTunes.
Some resources are;
For assistance with stalking—contact the stalking resource center–www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center
Help for victims of relationship violence—contact the national domestic violence hotline—1800-799-SAFE-(7233)
For victims of sexual assault—–www.rainn.org › Get Help National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE. At any given moment, more than 1,100 trained volunteers are on duty and available to help victims
For more help and information visit the resource page of our website…www.inamaegreene.org