Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Shines Light on Domestic Violence
By Kira Ward
Domestic violence is an issue that has occurred in homes all across the world for ages and it does not cease to exist in today's society. The ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated found it essential to address this issue and make available useful information about the subject.
The program began with an icebreaker where groups were given a well-known case of domestic violence and asked to discuss it and voice their opinions. Among the discussed were Chris Brown and Rihanna, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, and The Jacksons. This certainly got the audience involved and ready to ask questions and learn more. The audience's views ranged from holding the abuser totally accountable for unacceptable behavior, to both parties being to blame for perhaps provoking the other to become aggressive.
After the icebreaker, the guest speaker, Danyel Bradford Riley, was then introduced and asked to speak in further detail about the issue and to offer possible solutions for those that may be affected by it. She shared her personal experience with domestic violence and her reason for being so passionate about something that affects a great number of people.
Domestic violence was characterized by not only physical abuse, which is one of the common misconceptions, but also verbal and sometimes even mental. Bradford Riley She shared the many demographics in which domestic can occur including the many countries, age groups, and socioeconomic statuses. Many were surprised to discover that domestic violence abusers and victims range from 12 to 75 years old. Another common misconception is that domestic violence only occurs in low-income households when in reality a number of domestic violence cases have been found within wealthy homes. Discussed were some of the many problems that can occur as a result of domestic violence such as high health care costs, homelessness, fatalities, learned behavior and repeated cycles, broken homes, and financial strain. Bradford Riley spoke in reference to instances where abuse doesn't start right away but rather escalates over time with "testing," the act of other non-physical aggressive behavior such as yelling or threatening to detect how someone would react in the event of physical abuse, usually charging them to become more abusive.
For those that question whether they are being abused, there are many signs to be on the look out for such as low self-esteem, belief of the myths about battering relationships, being a traditionalist, accepting responsibility for the batterer's actions, suffering from guilt, severe stress reactions, use sex as a way of intimacy, and hopelessness, Bradford Riley said.
In contrast, those that question whether they may be abusers should pay attention to signs such as blaming others for their actions, being pathologically jealous, presenting a dual personality, frequent use of sex as an act of aggression to enhance self-esteem, no belief in consequences, witness of domestic violence, and past abusive relationships, Bradford Riley said.
Many participants shared their personal experiences with domestic violence and received extremely positive and helpful feedback on exactly what occurred, and how it should have been handled. Bradford Riley ended the presentation by supplying everyone with a list of resources that deal with domestic violence. The information included support groups, hotlines, counselors, and even her personal contact information for those that were in dire need of assistance.
Domestic violence is a serious issue and unfortunately a lot of cases do not end well, Bradford Riley said, but with more information and awareness those who are both being abused or are the abuser can receive the help that they need to end it once and for all.