Over 40 percent of women in the United States have encountered sexual violence. Why? For BIPOC women statistics are even worse. Solutions to the age-old issue of rape, violence against women and sexual aggression especially in the Black community are all too common issues that need to be addressed.
Whether sexual violence comes in the form of family members, romantic partners or others people trust, startling statistics show that the perpetrators are often well-known to the victim.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that of the 91 percent of the victims of rape and sexual assault (who are female), in eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew their assailant.
Tinisha D. Brugnone, author of “Pimpette Chronicles: A Modern Black Woman’s Guide to Dating Safely and Navigating These Mean Streets,” told the Michigan Chronicle that in her book she encourages women to date safely and with intention and to look out for red flags.
“Dating and relationships are a trending topic but dating safely is too often left out of the conversation,” she wrote in an email, adding that the second leading cause of death for Black females ages one to 19 is homicide and ranks fourth for Black women ages 20-44 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Other topics she addresses in her book include:
- Empowering yourself
- Dating as a parent
- Intimate partner violence
- Raising the bar
“[My] dating guide confronts the challenges faced by many women in the U.S., whose objective is to meet and keep a compatible mate,” according to her book.
With relatable cautionary tales, data and statistics, Brugnone takes her readers on a journey of self-analysis, self-love and empowerment.
“This book goes beyond your usual fairytale narrative and focuses on real-life strategies that can be used to better understand, and navigate, the complexities associated with modern dating in the new millennium and the aftermath of Covid-19.”
Terese “Tea Nicole” Teasley, author and certified holistic life coach, overcame her personal struggles and uses her platform to help others, too.
“I lost my innocence and voice at the age of 4 by an individual that my parents believed would provide care for me,” Teasley, 41, told the Michigan Chronicle previously. “For many years I cried out for help while suffering silently but no one listened. I learned at an early age how to protect myself, fight, put up walls, lie, and how to adapt to things that were not normal because I was numb.”
Teasley, sadly, is not alone.
According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, one in nine girls and one in 53 boys (under the age of 18) experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult. Just over 80 percent of all victims under 18 are female. The organization also reported that the child victims often know the perpetrator, as Teasley did.
The Pontiac native, founder of the health and wellness services program, Driven By Purpose, LLC, is helping others do the same as she did — heal.
“We focus on the whole person mentally, physically and spiritually,” her mission reads. “We believe in the impossible.”
Teasley, who overcame the impossible, is also the author of “Breakthrough Awaits Empowerment Journal” and co-author of “The Coaches Connect,” and told the Michigan Chronicle that before her healing journey started, she held fastidiously onto the belief that no one could protect her because she did not tell anybody about the abuse.
“For years I carried a lot of weight, hurt, guilt and shame, which led to health problems, anxiety, fear, low self-esteem, and me not knowing my worth,” Teasley said, adding that for most of her life she has been overweight. “Because I carried secrets of being molested, touched by people I trusted, seeing abuse in my home, and because of family secrets. In 2005, I fell into depression and wanted to take my life, but I called out to God and began my spiritual journey. It was not easy, but I told God if He showed me who He was and what I had to do, I would turn my life around.”