Domestic violence can happen to anyone — just ask Love and Hip Hop Atlanta star K. Michelle. Last season on her VH1 show, Michelle opened up to her cast mates that she was a victim of abuse from a former boyfriend. While she never named her abuser, former Jive Records executive Memphitz spoke out denying any allegations that he abused her.
In an interview last year with V-103′s Egypt Sherrod, Michelle said:
“He’s acknowledged it. I think the problem with this situation is you know when somebody goes and says you’re crazy and it never happened, you can apologize to me through texts, but when you go to the world and look at the world and say you know what, I never did that, she’s crazy, that means you’re not sorry.”
But K. Michelle is using her past experiences to empower other women.
In conjunction with her new album dropping on August 13, Michelle has recently teamed up with Young Black and Fabulous (YBF) for her Rebel Against Campaign. The campaign uses videos and pictures on Tumblr to share stories of other women around the country who have experienced forms of abuse.
And the testimonies are powerful.
One woman, Sundy Wind, speaks about the sexual abuse she endured by one of her mother’s boyfriends. She says:
As a child, my mother would have boyfriends and they would come in and out of my room at night. As a child I did not know what that meant when they would lay their hand on you. I thought it was love. It’s not and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing today. This campaign is to rebel against sexual abuse. Now that I’m a mother, I’d never want anyone to hurt my daughter or any young girl out there.
Another woman, Rosalind Bell, talks about shedding the label of “victim.”
If you continue to continue to be negative in these situations and you don’t accept that these things have happened to you then you sit in this whirlwind of negative. What K. Michelle has done has highlighted a lot [of] these issues and has put a face to what’s happening out here. A lot of times women feel as if they don’t have anyone to turn to and feel that they are in it alone.
Abuse is most definitely a Black woman’s issue. According to the American Bar Association's Committee on Domestic Violence:
— Black women have higher rates of domestic violence than women of other races — 35 percent.
— Approximately 40 percent of Black women report coercive contact of a sexual nature by age 18.
— The No. 1 killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
If you are a victim of abuse, please know that you are not alone. Read about resources for you here.
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(Photo: John Ricard/Getty Images for BET)