The murder of Kasandra Perkins should be a wake up call for victims of domestic violence. Here is advice for young women who may be in similar shoes.
The news of Jovan Belcher killing Kasandra Perkins, his girlfriend and mother of his newborn child, was so disturbing to me that I was not going to speak on it at first. But then I saw a black blogger (who is not worth naming) blaming Kasandra Perkins for her death and using this as a reason to bash black women. I also read a few articles online that seem to be reaching for someone or something else to blame other than the killer. One, posted on a popular black website for women, blamed the GUN for what happened instead of the instability of the killer.
Too many major media stories on this case seem to sympathize with Belcher and ignore the fact that a woman's life was taken in her prime. So I feel the need to say something about this now.
As a young woman in her early twenties (just like Kasandra Perkins at age 22), I was unfortunate to experience a situation somewhat similar to Perkins'. Everything seemed normal on the outside for others to see, but the arguing and fighting kept escalating. It was more emotional and mental abuse than anything -- I felt trapped. I was caught up in a nasty cycle of staying with and protecting someone who I knew wasn't in his right mind at the time. I was smart enough to GET OUT before the situation got really out of hand. Deep down, as much as I resisted leaving him due to the routine of it all, I knew that if I stayed, something was going to happen to either me or him because we were both losing it. Either way, my staying in the situation could have ruined both of our lives at the time.
Some young women put up with the abuse because they live for being able to talk about "their man" to others -- to show everyone how great their life is. In my case, I had a ring on my finger, a nice home and a partner; what many young women in their 20s want.
I feel I can safely state that this may have also been one of Perkins' issues, being the girlfriend of an NFL football star. She publicly tweeted and instagramed about their love and how wonderful her life was. Yet behind closed doors she was living with someone who ultimately decided it was fine to shoot her nine times and then kill himself. Those stories don't match up -- now they're both gone and left a newborn baby behind.
If You're Being Abused, Here is What You Do...
Young girls and women need to understand this warning -- LISTEN to that female intuition that tells you IT IS TIME TO GET OUT! Don't sit in that house and keep letting things get worse just so that you can have a man around.
REMOVE YOURSELF from the Situation...
I don't care if you own the apartment or the home, GET OUT OF THE SITUATION and give yourself time to get back into your right mind. Things become much clearer when you leave for an extended period of time. If you're embarrassed, you don't have to tell anyone that or why you moved away -- it's none of their damn business. This is about YOU.
Again, if you or someone you know is in a dangerous relationship, the priority is to TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF THE SITUATION as soon as possible. It is not normal and it is not okay to live like this. If necessary, devise a detailed plan to leave when the other person is gone and least expecting it for your safety.
Go somewhere very private or around supportive friends or family (supportive of YOU that is) and change your phone number so that you are not tempted to communicate with the abuser and hear his sob story. Be serious about this. Stay away for at LEAST 6 months before you decide to come back to your abode to gather the rest of your things/settle your affairs in that place and bring someone you trust along with you for support.
This is just my personal advice as someone who went through it -- a professional domestic violence counselor might be able to tell you better.
Do what you have to do to be whole again. I promise if you follow these steps closely, your mentality toward the relationship will CHANGE very quickly.
It's On You
The abuser is not going to suddenly stop abusing -- it is completely in your power to stop the cycle of abuse. It starts with you making a mental decision that you do not deserve this treatment.
The next step is taking smart affirmative action and sticking to the plan. Remember that violence in relationships only escalates until it ends up in a tragedy like the one that occurred this past weekend. Both you and the abuser are not in your right mind, so it can only get worse. Snap out of it and start putting yourself first. You are loved, this blog post is proof!