Domestic violence is one of those crimes rarely reported but prevalent in our society. I never thought it would happen to me since I saw it at such an early age, but I was wrong. I believed that I would be the one to break the cycle of domestic violence that I witnessed within my little Grenadian community, but that was not the case. Growing up in Grenada, not much emphasis was placed on domestic violence against black women back then. I saw it firsthand with friends, family members, and even my mother. The abuse came with such shame and guilt that we were unwilling to admit or even talk about it. As I watched the trauma this cruelty left on the people, I made a vow to myself that this would never be my destiny until a fateful day in the summer of 1999.
My boyfriend and I have been in a long-distance relationship for about a year. He decided to come to Canada to visit me. The reunion was exciting, and the celebration of our reunion began with a visit to a nightclub. It was my first time going to a club, and I couldn’t control my excitement.
A friend of his asked to dance with me and my boyfriend said okay. He did not appear to be opposed to me having 2 or 3 dances with his friend, and he was standing right there.
After a fun night of dancing, I was driven home. My boyfriend requested to have a private moment with me before I went into my house. My only recollection was him saying I was out of place and disrespectful towards him, and I should have declined any dance.
All of a sudden, I felt his hands across my face and punches all over my body. I fell to the ground in tears and shock. The 10 minutes of being mercilessly beaten felt like a lifetime. Although the bruises and fingerprints left on my face and body were not physical scars, but the emotional pain left was more powerful. To this day, I still carry the pain of being abused by someone I thought I loved and who loved me.
It took me a long time to come to grips with this assault. Out of shame, I’ve only repeated the story a few times. I protected my abuser by staying silent because I was afraid. Foolishly, I didn’t want to get him into trouble. That night was the end of our relationship.
I felt alone and broken after this event. I had so many thoughts running through my mind, such as blaming myself for my actions, and somehow the beating was well deserved.
If you or someone you know is being domestically or physically abused, it’s not too late to say something or leave. You deserve so much more than being the outlet for violence. You owe it to yourself to take your power back. It’s never too late.