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CFire LLC Shares Awareness During DVAM

Updated: Feb 14, 2023


1. The 3 Least Known Types of DV in Our Area

When we were conducting DV Awareness Training with civic, church, and health organizations in September 2021, we found the top 3 types previously unheard of before they participated in training were these:

  1. #1 Religious/Spiritual Abuse

  2. Tied for #2:

    1. Digital Abuse

    2. Revenge Porn

We shared the definitions and ways help can be obtained for these types. Part of the satisfaction of this work is knowing that every time we give information, DV has fewer places to hide.


2. What Abuse Reparations Are

We sat down with two incredible entrepreneurs, Susan R. Wolder-Williams, and Hazel Grace, at the #OurTalks table during DVAM. Yes, these 2 women told a portion of their story as DV survivors


BUT


we didn't interview them strictly for their stories (which at some points may be triggering (**trigger warning**). We asked them to share some specific details about their abuse reparations - how they made abuse PAY THEM BACK.


Why?


Because as Black women, part of our DNA is innovation, and we absolutely utilize it during times of crisis. Part of our agency's awareness work is making sure you understand not just DV victim-survivors, but how it differs for the Black woman in this sphere.

(Make sure you go check out Ms. Wolder-Williams' (pictured on the left) incredible bakery, Suzie's Sweet Treats, LLC, and Ms. Grace's (pictured on the right) multi-level artistic and spiritual businesses, Hazel Grace Photography, Melanin Mixologist, and Ori Asé, as they combine as HGXpressions.


3. CFire LLC Now Has Culturally-Responsive Crisis Tools on its Website!

We have now been officially working to change the narrative of Black women and DV as an LLC for 2 years! In this time, we have been diligent about finding and vetting resources tailored specifically for the unique challenges and needs of the Black female DV victim-survivors. We have an entire page on our website that is now dedicated to sharing this information. We call it Tools for Us. This is where you can send a Black female victim or survivor of DV to get the help she may need. Here's the Link.


4. We've Opened Our First Community Safe Space™!

The Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness reports, "75% of domestic violence related homicides occur upon separation and there is a 75% increase of violence upon separation for at least two years." We know that aligns with well-known statistics regarding DV. What this indicates is that it is dangerous for the victim-survivors to leave safely.


With DV, it is not a simple answer for the victim to leave. There has to be a solid safety plan to guard her from being harmed while she makes the attempt. Digital abuse is more frequent than one might think, and makes privacy difficult if not impossible for victims working toward separation from the abuser.


The Community Safe Space™ is a community-based solution. These centers will be confidential and will provide digital devices that are unmonitored by the abuser, as well as culturally-responsive and even effective mainstream resources that can be utilized during the room's use. The victim will be able to make her plans without detection and thereby hopefully achieve freedom without event and sooner than she might have been able without it.


We've got one open, and we're super excited! If you are a Black female DV victim who wants out, or someone you love is, call us at 515-428-0077 to get connected to a safe space today!

If you want to learn more about it, head over to the Tools for Us tab on our website, and click on the Culturally-Responsive Crisis Tools icon.


How Can YOU Help?

There is still much work to be done when current statistics dictate that 40% of all Black women will experience DV. Right now, it is still not a question for many of us if it will happen to us but when it will happen to us.


Right now, right here in the greater DSM area, there are still blind spots within the community with some of the most destructive forms of DV, including religious/spiritual abuse, digital abuse, and revenge porn. These types and others cause longterm impact to the survivor, can be the beginning of years within DV cycles, can be modeled to the next generation as an expected pattern, and can actually cause chronic and even life-threatening health conditions.


We need your help in the following ways:

  1. Get informed. Black female DV victim-survivors need people who understand what abuse can look like, what abusers can look like especially the charm they usually possess, how a Black woman will likely present when she needs help, and how her needs differ simply because she is Black.

  2. Be supportive in the ways she tells you she needs. Often we see harm or hurt and want to help, but we come in ready to tell her what to do. Please remember she has already been in a relationship where someone has been controlling her. She needs to know she is heard by those who want to help and that she has control over her choices. Also, remember she has been with this violent person for a long time and has managed to stay alive and sane. That indicates she has an understanding of his violent triggers and how to maneuver around them. Listen to her about the best approach to her situation because your approach includes dealing on some level with him, whether directly or indirectly.

  3. Look for ways to understand her when you provide service. Black women respond to fear, frustration, anxiety, feeling threatened, and desperation differently than other cultures. When you assist her as a community agency, please look for ways to relate what you see to what you know other DV victims feel. Don't assume her response means something negative. When in doubt, ASK her how you can help make her more comfortable in this moment.

  4. Donate to the mission. Most of the work that is happening is self-funded, and we need your help. Click on this link to give today: Donate



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