ToshaMakia knew that the abuse and sexual violence had to end when she was awakened by her daughter, who grabbed her by the face and begged her to “please make it stop!”
The 102 Jamz (NC) radio personality knows all too well what it is like to be a victim of domestic violence. When a man finds himself so jealous, angry or embarrassed that he acts out his feelings in a violent manner, it is mostly because his ego has been bruised and he will lash out in ways that can be very destructive or, even worse, deadly.
When now notorious Cleveland killer Steve Stephens had the East Coast in a panic after he rode across states claiming on Facebook Live to have killed more than 10 people because of his break up with Joy Lane, the fragility of the male ego became a heavy topic especially among the African-American community.
“Let’s remember that these types of behavior are not new,” says Dr. O’Shan D. Gadsden, Professor of Psychology at William Paterson University. “Media, including social media platforms, have made it more visible, but it is not a new problem.
“Each of these issues can be examined from a different perspective or outlook, and each has its own set of reasons and contributing factors. However, it’s important to address the two elephants in the room that serve as the root for many of these issues — patriarchy and male privilege.”
He continues, “Patriarchy is the social concept that credits the ideas, emotions, rights and power fulfillment of men at the mental, emotional, and physical expense of women and children. This gender-norm social process, emotionally handicaps males from a range of emotions, but also handicaps them from often taking in emotions beyond the realm of physical intimacy. The result? Men who often hurt their partners are not in touch with their ability to nurture others and can’t tolerate being in relationships that do not indulge their vision of masculinity and power.”
“I look back now and realize that I should have paid attention to how he talked to people,” ToshaMakia shares. “I found it strange how disrespectful he would speak of people, especially those that I love. Allowing him to be disrespectful gave him confirmation that I wasn’t strong enough so he could do the things he wanted to do.”
Not everyone can detect the signs that happen in the beginning of the relationship because most women are infatuated with the attention and affection, but according to Bashea Williams, a licensed certified clinical social worker, if you pay close attention, the signs are definitely there.
“If a man exhibits more control and tries to disguise it as caring, a woman should beware. If he always has to know where you are, that is another sign,” Mr. Williams says. “If he doesn’t let you deviate from your daily routine, that is a sign. If you decide to work late, maybe go out with your girls after work and it turns into a huge argument, you need to plan your exit strategy."
“Do not attempt to fill the void or he will manipulate,” Mr. Williams adds. “Prevention is sometimes inevitable. Preventative work of ending things before they grow is the best.”
“After my daughter jolted me into my senses, I told somebody at work that I was probably going to die,” ToshaMakia remembers of the day she decided that enough was enough. “The cops got involved and they help me go down to the courts, where I got an emergency custody order and a restraining order.
“Once he showed up with his cousin. I was so upset and I yelled out to his cousin, ‘Get him out of here! Did you know he raped me?’ He got nervous because he didn't want anyone to know. He got in the car and just like that, it was over.”
It can be concluded at this point for ToshaMakia, that she found her voice and she spoke her truth. Her aggressor was embarrassed or, in that moment, he realized all that he had done and he also wanted it to end. It didn’t matter for ToshaMakia because she finally felt free.
“Life is amazing!” she said with excitement. “I remember overhearing someone say that I was just going to leave the relationship to be in another abusive relationship. Maybe that was God's way of telling me to step my game up and work hard on me. Now I have been with someone for more than 10 years and he treats me in the most amazing way. He builds me up, he supports me and loves me. He is my friend and I couldn’t be happier.”
If you are a woman in need of support against domestic violence, please contact:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
Women Against Abuse at: www.womenagainstabuse.org
(Photo: Tim Macpherson/Getty Images)