National domestic violence statistics show that every 9 seconds in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Studies from domestic violence statistics suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually. Nearly one in five teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Right here in the D.C. metropolitan area within the past few months, domestic violence has been newsworthy! Laura Waller, a Caucasian teacher in Howard County, was killed in Montgomery County by her boyfriend. She was four months pregnant, and her murderer led her to a strange place, then he shot her in the back of her head. He was caught up in a love triangle, engaged to one woman and having impregnated another.
Andrea Grinage, a beautiful African-American young woman from Capitol Heights, Maryland, was 7 months pregnant, and the father didn’t want the baby. He put her in the bathtub, threw gas on her stomach area, and set her on fire. The baby was delivered. Both are still alive.
Paula Renee Coles of southeast D.C. was holding her 11-month-old son when his father stabbed her to death in the hallway of her building. A neighbor found them after hearing the baby crying and screaming as he lay in a pool of his dead mother’s blood.
Finally, in Alexandria, Virginia, Dasheria Barksdale was attempting to leave her boyfriend, but he allegedly stabbed her in front of her best friend. Dasheria, who eventually died from her injuries, was only 30 years old.
There has been so much going on with the escalation of domestic violence that it stirred award-winning filmmaker Shuaib Mitchell to convene a panel this week on the subject.
Mitchell has planned a community forum to bring members of the clergy and community together to discuss this very important issue now facing us. Titled “Facts, Factors, and the Churches Response,” this discussion will be held Friday, Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Come out and see and hear this dynamic panel at The Word of God Baptist Church at 6513 Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville, Maryland.
The panel will include Queen Afi Gaston, Rev. Lynn Strange, Rev. Belina Wimbish-Haile and Carolyn White-Washington, who were all guests “The Lyndia Grant Show,” my Radio One talk show, last Friday.
Those of you who find yourselves currently in a domestic violence situation; do everything possible to get out safely. Ladies, your body is a temple! Please care enough for yourself and your children to get away from men who are violent.
Special thanks to Rev. Lynn Strange and Kita Williams, co-founders of the Atikal Foundation, who launched BLOC DV, a training and technical assistance program designed to assess and prevent the lethality of domestic violence disputes and incidents. The program is also petitioning to start a Domestic Violence Batterer’s Registry. Go to www.BLOCDV.com to sign the petition.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 240-602-6291. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.