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Domestic Violence: A Serious Matter
10/14/2015 4:49:50 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Several years ago I wrote an article on Domestic Violence. After the recent murder of Malakia Frazier, a 26 year old pregnant woman, I felt compelled to address this issue on behalf of her and her baby in Intensive Care. If this article prevents others from a similar fate, Malakia’s death would not have been in vain. Shortly after the article on Domestic Violence appeared in the Chronicle, an inmate wrote a letter to me addressed to the Chronicle. I will refer to the inmate as David to protect his privacy. David had been in the military and was serving time for spousal abuse and rape. He acknowledged that domestic violence is a growing epidemic in the United States.

In prison, David started a non-profit organization called CAPA (Completely Against Physical Abuse). He thanked me for doing the article and in his own words said, “You taught me what I was doing was wrong and I had no right to do what I did to her.” It’s people like David that make writing worthwhile.

There are many victims of domestic violence—too afraid to leave and too afraid to speak out. I, too, was confronted with spousal abuse in a previous relationship. Now, y’all make sure if you gonna carry a bone, be sure you carry it straight. Don’t chop on it before you get where you are going.

I said previous; not present. Now, as I was saying, a former partner thought he was going to abuse me. I knew that boy didn’t have the sense he was born with if he thought he was going to abuse John T’s (that’s my daddy) daughter. No sir, that wasn’t about to happen. John T also had five boys and anyone of those boys would have made a believer out of him. I was raised in a close knit family. We live by the law but anyone who knows those Gadson girls knows that if you mess with one the whole darn family will be on your doorstep.

In case you didn’t know, there are about a dozen of us chillin. My parents made it clear from the giddy up when those fellows came-a-calling, don’t put your hands on my child. I think the word got out that while those Gadson girls look refined, you had better not mess with them. We got some Annie Oaklies in the family. One of those Gadson gals is a carpenter. I knew something was wrong with that one when I went to her house and she was installing a sink.

I thought maybe her genes had gotten crossed up somewhere along the line but her husband vouches for her authenticity as a female so I guess that’s good enough for me. However, that gal will put any man to shame when it comes to physical labor. She is a real live Paul Bunyan. Then the really quiet one, the one who doesn’t speak until spoken to, husband thought he would abuse her mentally.

There are two types of abuse—physical and mental. I don’t know which one is the worst. So bro-law was abusing my sister mentally. I thought she was going to lose her mind but it was he who finally lost his. She got out of that relationship but not before he had a brief encounter with “Smith and Wesson”. In court the Judge asked Ms. Quiet One, did you pull a gun on this man to which she quietly replied, “no sir, Ya Honor”. The last time I heard of my ex bro- law’s whereabouts he had crossed the border into Canada.

Domestic Violence is a very serious matter. It is not my intent to make light of the matter but to draw you into reality and options for escape. What the Gadson girls had at their disposal were family and education. Our parents set high standards for us. We were taught that we were just as good as the next person and get a good education “so we could take care of ourselves”.

It’s important that you stay in touch with family and friends. An early sign of abuse is isolation. Do not allow an abuser to isolate you from your family and friends. Oftentimes, an abuser don’t want you to work just to keep you locked away so no one will know what’s going on. Too many persons remain in abusive relationships because they have no family support or finances to become independent of the abuser.

Malakia was only 26 years old. She had her whole life ahead of her until her baby’s father stabbed her to death. By the grace of God, the baby survived the attack. Baby Miracle, will never get to know her mother. She will be raised by relatives.

So, for all of the Davids out there, you can change. If you feel overwhelmed by the stresses of the world, get help. You either accept your mate as they are, or move on. You raise children not adults. As painful as it may be, you must accept that when someone says it’s over, it’s over. You can’t make someone love you or stay with you. That’s not love; that’s control.

South Carolina is ranked at the top of the list in Domestic Violence. This type of violence has got to stop. There is help and shelters if you feel you can’t safely walk away. The National Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233; South Carolina Hotline, 1-800-260-9293; Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties, My Sister’s House, 1-800-273-4673 or 843-747-4069 and Family Services, Inc., 843-744-2886.


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