For Colored Girls Who Are Told To Silence Their Stories Of Abuse

Who comes to the defense of Black women? I yelled. Screamed a little louder just so that someone could hear me; help me. I did not fulfill

Human Interest


I yelled. Screamed a little louder just so that someone could hear me; help me. I did not fulfill his sexual wishes and I paid for it with shoves deep into the springs of his mattress and cries of his own. He wanted someone to help his desires and I couldn't. I sobbed a little harder and closed my eyes tighter to envision us on our good days. This is not him, I told myself. And I called his name and “HELP,”  and “Get off of me,” interchangeably and repeatedly in an attempt to bring him back to reality. All I heard were his hands against my skin. Sometimes, I still do.

No one heard me in the beginning of that chapter.

Who hears Black women?

[Tweet "Black women nurture and give until our spirits runneth over and we wear out."]

Black women nurture and give, and give, and give until our spirits runneth over and we wear out. When we've been excluded in the Black Lives Matter discourse and had to create a hashtag for ourselves, demanding you say our names and include trans women. How dare we? We've over-stepped our boundaries again, haven't we?

I've heard that before.

Dee Barnes did too. And Michel'le. Women who deserved to get slapped up and knocked over, dragged across floors and hit across faces with the back of hands from men. We tell our stories eventually; after the bruises have gone away, but the scars are faint in sight; when years have gone by and we can say something without worrying about repercussions, and pen pieces without feeling their arms viciously around ours. Sometimes, the time that has elapsed and the stories told thereafter, fall on deaf ears.

[Tweet "We tell our stories eventually; after the bruises have gone away."]

It's too late, they say.

Our unspoken words should have been told when the marks were still visible. And our names and our stories are slung through mud, sinking further into a pit of things America attempts to ignore, silence and throw away. Sometimes, there's a pain that lingers heavily within us whenever another man touches us–sexually, to shake our hands, when he brushes against us on crowded subways unknowingly– and we go back to that moment. The marks are still there.

You don't have a say when it is or isn't the right time to tell a story.

After feeling encouraged and empowered to once again tell my story after immersing myself in Dee Barnes' account of DV from Dr. Dre, I came across remarks from men who thought it best for women to shut up and get over it. There are too many people who thrive off of silence, America being one of them. There is no way you can stay quiet over a painful, yet pivotal point of your life. As a writer, I have a different love for words, particularly after living in solitude and diminishing my experience. If Black lives matter, then the stories of women of color who are victimized and experience domestic violence in the highest numbers, matter too.

You don't have a say when it is or isn't the right time to tell a story.

I have spoken about domestic violence several times, and each time I find the courage to share that chapter in my life, there is a feeling of liberation and pride. There is a new perspective every time. As I heal and progress forward, I have to mention those horrific moments. It doesn't define me, but it is a defining moment in who I am.

I cringe when someone is too close because of that night.

I find myself a little leery with my words because of that morning.

I have to walk up to a young man barking in his girlfriend's face and yolking her up because someone intervened on my behalf.

I have to whisper in a woman's ear and tell her it'll get better if she walks away because I did with fear in my heart and faith holding my hand.

Who heard me?

The Black woman with the loud mouth that was reduced to nothing.

Someone who realized that I could be their daughter, their sister, or their niece. Someone who had the courage to tell me leave, even if I had to slide my way to the phone to call the police, crawl my way to the door, or fight my way out with the possibility that it'll be my last.

I fought back, I called the police, and crawled my way out. I am here, alive and thriving, and retelling the story, even if no one else wants to hear it. Because I've been quiet for too long.



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