Urban Report

Domestic Violence

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Alma G. Davis


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000125A

00:01 One in every 3 women that you encounter has been abused.
00:04 Stay tuned to meet a woman who is determined
00:07 to make a difference for survivors of domestic violence.
00:10 My name is Yvonne Lewis and you're watching
00:12 Urban Report...
00:36 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:39 My guest today is Alma G. Davis,
00:41 CEO and Founder of the Alma G. Davis Foundation.
00:45 She is a visionary and a motivational speaker
00:49 her mission is to educate, empower and celebrate.
00:52 Welcome to Urban Report Alma.
00:55 Thank you, thank you for having me Dr. Lewis, yeah.
00:58 I am so glad... call me Yvonne.
01:00 Yvonne. I am so glad that you are here
01:04 with us to share this important topic
01:07 this topic is so critical
01:10 tell us a little bit more before we get into your story
01:14 about domestic violence in general
01:17 how prevalent is it
01:19 does it transcend cultures, tell us about it.
01:23 Domestic violence is very prevalent
01:26 more so than we even acknowledge
01:27 and note... more so... we talk about
01:30 Every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted
01:33 or beaten in the United States every 9 seconds
01:35 so, if you start looking at numbers
01:38 it is estimated that 1.3 million women
01:41 are victims every year so, it's so... and again
01:45 95 percent of the cases are never reported
01:49 so that's just based off the numbers
01:51 that are reported so if we really got into statistics
01:54 how high would those numbers really be?
01:57 One out of every two?
01:58 You know, so, it's a tremendous problem here.
02:02 That, you know...
02:03 one of the things that I've noticed Alma is
02:07 this objectification of women
02:12 in the music and the media Hmmm...
02:14 and making it seem like it's okay to "slap your woman"
02:19 "it's okay to keep her in her place"
02:21 I mean, we really we really need to look at
02:24 what we're watching,
02:26 what we're letting our children watch.
02:28 Yes, absolutely...
02:30 and I think the more we do
02:32 the kind of work we do in educating our young girls
02:35 and our women of their value and their self-worth
02:38 then things may begin to change
02:41 but again, it goes back to what are we exposing our kids to
02:44 what are our women
02:45 agreeing to, what are you agreeing
02:47 saying that somehow someone can talk to you?
02:51 Oh! listen, I remember seeing a scene where
02:55 a famous rapper had women on dog leashes
03:00 walking them around with dog leashes.
03:05 Wow! Now, first of all,
03:07 how do you let... there's no amount of money
03:10 that anybody can pay me to be one of those women
03:12 I'm not judging them,
03:14 that was where they were at that given time,
03:16 doesn't mean they're there today
03:18 but the fact that... we have to look at...
03:22 how do we look at ourselves, what do we think about ourselves
03:25 and what does God...
03:27 what value does God place upon us?
03:29 Absolutely. Because He gives us value.
03:32 Yes, yes. So, I'm loving what you're doing
03:35 Thank you.
03:36 Tell us about the Alma G. Davis Foundation, what is it?
03:40 The Foundation is based off of the notion
03:44 the premise of educating, empowering and celebrating women
03:47 and young girls that are survivors
03:48 that have either seen it there, survivors themselves
03:52 a lot of people don't understand
03:53 that if you grow up in that type of household,
03:55 you are a survivor as well
03:57 because you have witnessed it
03:59 and you begin the process of either
04:01 completing that cycle continuously,
04:04 making the cycle the same thing or you have to stop it,
04:07 so, it's actually number one, warning and teaching,
04:10 again, our values and our women, on who you are,
04:13 who you are to God,
04:15 and then once we can captivate that,
04:18 we pour more into you,
04:19 so, for instance, we work with a lot of women
04:22 in educating them, on, you know, if you've been in a situation
04:25 a lot of times you are tied to that person because of
04:28 financial security, you don't have finances
04:30 so, we go in and teach financial independence,
04:33 how do you prepare yourself for job readiness,
04:36 how do you even send out résumés',
04:37 we go into Shelters and we work one-on-one
04:40 we take Corporations in and we take their HR Departments
04:43 and give them one-on-one interviews
04:45 mock interviews and getting them prepped
04:47 so educating them about all the things
04:50 that domestic violence does, how do you protect yourself
04:53 if you are in that situation, how do you protect your children
04:57 how do you do "plans of action" of getting out
05:00 and once we educate them, we begin to empower them,
05:03 we give them outlets to come and say,
05:05 "Hey, I've been through this but I'm growing,
05:07 I'm getting out of this situation"
05:09 bringing in the Community to say,
05:11 "Well, this is something that I dealt with in my household
05:14 here is my voice" so, we are the voice
05:17 for those that don't have a voice at all.
05:20 We do a big luncheon on domestic violence
05:23 bringing in different speakers whether it's about legal issues
05:28 understanding the damage
05:30 domestic violence does to your mental health
05:32 as well as your physical health, and that's how we empower them
05:37 and then on top of that through our Programs
05:39 we celebrate them for being survivors and for coming through
05:41 Wow! you've given me so much in what you just said
05:47 because, let's go back for a second,
05:52 you go even to Businesses and go to HR Departments
05:56 Human Resources Departments Yes
05:57 and train them as to how to deal with their
06:01 workers that are experiencing domestic violence
06:04 this is critical, identifying the different people
06:08 that are dealing with domestic violence
06:10 that is a critical piece there
06:13 because an employer might not know what to do, "What do I do?"
06:17 Absolutely, and in return we use those same Companies
06:20 to come in a teach survivors work skills
06:25 finances, what a lot of people don't know,
06:30 there was a report done last year by the White House
06:34 and 5.8 billion dollars per year is what the US loses
06:39 in intimate partner violence just through Corporations,
06:43 4.1 billion is just for medical, direct medical bills,
06:47 and 1.8 billion is for loss in productivity
06:51 so over 5.8 billion dollars
06:53 just in work alone from domestic violence.
06:55 That is... I don't think that the average
07:00 viewer knows how extensive
07:03 this problem is. Yes.
07:05 5.8 billion dollars is lost from domestic violence.
07:12 Yes, did you know what that is in numbers?
07:14 That's 8 million days of paid leave
07:17 so, if we looked at calculations that's equivalent to
07:20 32,000 full-time jobs from domestic violence
07:23 so, if we can continue to educate people
07:27 and make numbers realistic so people can see how
07:30 this is truly a number one issue
07:32 going on in our Country and abroad.
07:34 Wow! I want to come back to more of what the Foundation does
07:41 but I want our Viewers to understand
07:43 why this is your passion, why did you choose
07:48 this particular area to focus on?
07:52 I am a survivor of domestic violence,
07:55 I grew up in a household where I saw it every day
07:58 I was a part of it,
08:00 so by the time I was 14 years old,
08:03 I had my first set of black eyes from another 14 year old male,
08:08 he saw it every day in his household,
08:10 so, that became the norm,
08:12 the functioning norm on how you deal with issues
08:15 how you deal with problems, so here you have two children,
08:17 that grew up in that environment and again,
08:20 if that's what they're taught, that's what they would do
08:23 and every day, from 14 until it was the time
08:27 when I was about 18 years old,
08:28 not only was I experiencing it and fighting through it at home,
08:31 but I was experiencing it and fighting through it
08:33 with a boyfriend that's the same age as me,
08:37 and so, it took until I was 22 years old,
08:40 number one, I truly forgave my father and my mother
08:45 for what I had to experience and go through
08:48 and it hit me one day that how could I not forgive them
08:53 when that was their learned behavior
08:56 that's what they grew up with,
08:58 so, how can you not forgive someone
08:59 that doesn't know any better, now once I got that revelation,
09:04 I made a personal vow that I would not let my daughter
09:09 grow up in that type of environment
09:11 I was breaking the cycle.
09:14 Yes, look at... look at how God has led you
09:20 out of that whole lifestyle and into your purpose
09:26 this is your purpose, this is your passion,
09:28 this is the path that He has you on,
09:32 "Hurt people... hurt people" Yes
09:34 and so, you... we praise God for this
09:38 that He brought you out from that
09:41 you wanted to break the "generational curse" so to speak
09:44 because your parents had seen it and then you saw it
09:48 and then your daughter...
09:50 had you not broken that cycle your daughter could have seen it
09:53 and she could have passed it on, Absolutely
09:55 we praise the Lord that that didn't happen.
09:58 What happens in the mind of a...
10:05 first a child that is...
10:08 well, first the child that is witnessing abuse
10:12 then the child that is receiving the abuse
10:16 when you were a teenager and you were witnessing the abuse,
10:21 what was going through your head about that
10:23 on what you deserved or what you were supposed to get
10:27 versus what you were getting?
10:28 The first thing is it's very confusing as a child
10:31 because you have no voice and so,
10:35 it's confusing to watch people that you love
10:37 demonstrate that type of behavior
10:41 as one to resolve issues, and so, from that,
10:46 it's the "confusion factor"
10:48 and then you start to build in your mind
10:49 "Well, I guess, if that's the way to resolve things,
10:52 I should expect that's what's going to happen to me"
10:55 and so, when it first happened to me at 14
10:58 it was the shock factor, but instead of me saying,
11:02 "No, this is not functional, this is not normal,"
11:05 I went right along and said,
11:07 "Okay, this is what I've seen so this is what happens"
11:10 10 million children every year witness domestic violence
11:13 and people do not understand, from that, the...
11:17 what happens to those innocent children
11:20 because now, they face a life of
11:22 "this is how I act out when I get angry"
11:24 so that's why we see so much violence going around
11:26 in our Communities, because that's what they know
11:29 that's what they're taught, they are not taught to sit down
11:31 and communicate, "It's okay to disagree but there is a way
11:34 to do it, you don't have to yell at me
11:36 you don't have to call me out of my name,"
11:37 and so, we, as a Community, have to hold people accountable
11:42 and responsible for teaching our children
11:44 and breaking these dysfunctional cycles.
11:47 Absolutely, absolutely, we have to teach our Community
11:57 how to handle conflict, conflict resolution,
12:01 it does not have to be where,
12:04 "I'm going to fight you because you looked at my sneakers,
12:07 you want my sneakers" or "you gave me the wrong look"
12:10 or I mean, we have to teach, and that's part of your mission,
12:18 to educate, right?
12:20 We have to teach our folks how to resolve conflict
12:25 in a way that uses our minds and not, just jump into
12:29 a violent confrontation, Yeah.
12:32 and just what you said is so true,
12:35 "that's what you see so that's what you do"
12:38 but if we could just train people that
12:43 that is not the only way, that is not the way,
12:46 rather, not...
12:48 that is not the way to handle conflict
12:50 it could be tremendous, so that piece is super important
12:56 I got a call, last week sometime about a young teenager
13:03 that had witnessed domestic violence in the home
13:07 it wasn't her mother or father,
13:10 it was actually some people that were living there
13:12 and so, she was watching him, the man beat up this woman
13:18 and I mean, it's... when you think about it,
13:21 how traumatic is that for her to carry
13:24 it wasn't her mother or father, but it still was in her home,
13:27 and she sees a woman being beaten
13:30 by another person in the household...
13:33 it's just... and then the children are
13:36 expected to leave that environment
13:39 and go to school and function normally.
13:41 Right, absolutely, and it goes back to, again,
13:45 "Who are the caregivers" and
13:46 "who are we holding accountable for that"
13:49 because, in my mind, if the child has to witness that
13:51 the adults have to be there and they have to know
13:54 so what are we saying to the child?
13:55 That that is okay... that is okay for that to happen?
13:58 What are we teaching our young kids and our boys
14:01 because again, it teaches our boys,
14:04 "this is how you deal with a woman
14:07 if you want to control her"
14:09 because domestic violence is just not the physical,
14:12 I thought my biggest thing is, the bruises go away
14:14 but once you've embedded to me...
14:17 and to my mind, that's worse than...
14:19 worse than you hitting me
14:21 so domestic violence is a part of control
14:23 a major control factor, and when we talk about our boys
14:27 63 percent of our boys
14:29 that are age 11 through 20 that commit murder,
14:32 murder the person that was abusing their mother
14:35 so, as a mother, how do you put that on your son,
14:38 where he feels like he has to go and save you
14:41 and he has to kill this person,
14:42 and now his life is ruined he's in prison.
14:44 That's right, that's right, his life is ruined,
14:48 Yeah. you have given him the message
14:52 by staying with the perpetrator
14:54 that it's okay to treat your mom like this
14:57 I mean, it just... we have to hold...
15:02 as women we have to hold ourselves accountable
15:04 we have to think about
15:07 the messages that we give to our children
15:09 whether it's spoken or unspoken. Absolutely, absolutely.
15:15 So, what are the stages in a relationship
15:18 with domestic violence, give us, if you would,
15:21 how does it kind of evolve?
15:24 It normally first begins with verbal,
15:27 some of the things that we talk about
15:30 it may be, someone teasing you, pinching you,
15:34 or just pulling on you,
15:36 and that's something that you have to stop in the beginning
15:39 because at the end it's like anything,
15:41 "If I can test the waters to see how far I can go,
15:44 then I will continue" and it will get aggressive
15:47 you may begin to see if someone is being abused
15:50 they're being pulled away from friends,
15:53 pulled away from family,
15:55 you'll begin to see the control
15:57 you'll begin to see that abuser
15:59 how to speak to that person and it's almost like,
16:02 "Let me get you away from anybody that may be
16:05 telling you something different from me
16:07 so that I can control you mentally"
16:09 So, it's isolation, it's to isolate the victim.
16:13 Yes, and once the isolation begins
16:16 the next step you will begin to see is the verbal abuse
16:20 demeaning the victim,
16:22 telling them what they are or are not,
16:25 who they're not, what they will or will not do,
16:27 so the control, then, just goes to a heightened level
16:31 and then the final part that you'll begin to see
16:34 is the physical, so there are steps,
16:36 not just letting him hit you,
16:38 and that's the beginning of domestic violence
16:40 so when we see these national cases come out,
16:42 and you see the incidents where
16:44 athletes have had some major abuse,
16:48 that's not the first time, because that's not how it starts
16:52 there's a definite pattern of behavior, that
16:55 that is the last step.
16:56 Wow! so this is something
17:00 that has been brewing that has been going from
17:03 step to step to step Yeah.
17:05 and you know what you said earlier too, Alma
17:08 about the physical, the bruises leave,
17:12 but the mental bruising is what stays
17:16 I mean the mental,
17:17 that whole feeling of being beaten down
17:21 not just physically, but emotionally
17:24 where you get, you know, the abuser might say,
17:27 "Well, nobody else is going to want you,
17:29 who wants you,
17:30 who is going to want you. " Right.
17:32 And so you begin to internalize that low self-esteem
17:35 and you feel like, "Where am I going to go?"
17:38 and then you also mentioned about finances
17:40 Yeah. "I don't have any money
17:42 to go anywhere, what am I going to do?"
17:45 Absolutely, absolutely.
17:46 If a woman is caught up into an abusive situation
17:53 right now, what would you say to the woman who's watching
17:57 who just accidently may be when we say "accidently"
18:00 because we know, that the Lord had her watch,
18:02 Yes, yes.
18:03 What would you say to the woman who is caught up
18:05 into an abusive situation, what would you tell her to do?
18:09 Number one, you have to get out of that situation
18:13 that is not who you are and if you have children,
18:17 you have to think enough about yourself and save your children
18:22 you have to get out of it,
18:24 you have to get out of that situation.
18:25 Number two, you are not alone,
18:27 so it's so easy to think that no one is here to help you
18:30 there are people here, there are resources
18:32 we are here and this is an urgent need,
18:35 that you need to go right now you need to dial 1-800-779-safe
18:40 that is the National Domestic Violence Hotline
18:42 they can help you find the nearest Shelter,
18:45 they can help you get out immediately.
18:46 Give that number again, please Alma.
18:48 Yes, 1-800-779-safe, SAFE
18:54 if this is something that you're contemplating
18:58 you're not sure that you're ready to make that call,
19:00 I want you to know that we value your life,
19:03 God values your life more than anything
19:06 you are not what that person is telling you
19:09 there is so much more to you, but you have to be here
19:12 so that we can see that,
19:13 you have to be here for your children
19:15 there are so many people counting on you
19:18 that you don't realize and you are so much more
19:21 than what he or she is saying to you,
19:23 and we want to help you, we want to see you safe.
19:26 That's beautiful, thank you.
19:29 You're welcome.
19:30 Women who are in that kind of situation...
19:35 we as women who are not in that situation,
19:40 can reach out to them and say,
19:42 "Hey, there is a safe place for you to be. "
19:44 Yes. You can go somewhere and be safe
19:48 Yes. but there are so many
19:51 psychological reasons
19:54 why a women won't venture out to do that,
19:56 once you've been beaten down enough,
19:58 it's like... you have the "battered woman syndrome"
20:01 mentally. Yes, it's real.
20:03 It's real. It is real.
20:05 It's a real situation. It is real.
20:08 And even if you're not in that situation,
20:10 if you have a loved one that is...
20:12 we try to teach them also,
20:13 until that person is ready mentally
20:16 they will not get out of the situation
20:18 it has to be that they are sick and tired
20:20 and sick and tired of being beaten down.
20:23 And so, as a loved one on the outside
20:25 we encourage you, don't dispel that person
20:28 or push that person aside and just say,
20:30 "Oh well, you have to learn. " No! continue to show them love
20:33 because again, you are counteracting
20:36 what has been deposited in their mindset,
20:39 anything that's repeated 21 times...
20:41 that's a pattern of behavior so, when we teach our children
20:44 how to get potty-trained, it is continuous...
20:46 put them on the potty, put them on the potty,
20:49 so, if you put yourself in their situation,
20:51 and someone has told them all of these negative things
20:53 about themselves and they feel that they are alone
20:56 you have to understand... they don't need that from you.
20:59 They need for you to engulf them,
21:02 love them and let them know,
21:04 "Hey, I know what you're going through,
21:06 I'm here for you for when you are ready,
21:08 and we are here to support you, and we love you,
21:11 you don't have to go through this by yourself. "
21:14 That is so true and so beautiful because we're not here to...
21:21 many times when you have not been abused yourself,
21:25 you can't "walk in their shoes" so to speak
21:28 because you really don't understand
21:30 so you'll say, "Why don't they just leave?"
21:32 like, "What is wrong, why don't you just leave?"
21:35 but it's so much... it's like layers of an onion
21:38 there are is so much more to it than just what meets the eye.
21:41 Yes, yes. And so, to say to that person,
21:45 "We love you, we're here for you,
21:48 you can talk to me any time
21:52 and I'll give you whatever advice I can,
21:55 I'll pray with you. " Yes.
21:57 These are things that we can do, if we see a loved one
22:01 that's in trouble, give them that number,
22:04 that hotline number
22:05 so that they can do something.
22:08 I'm going to put your website on the screen as well
22:11 with the Foundation, tell us some more about
22:14 how the Foundation educates, empowers and celebrates.
22:19 With our education... it goes back to us reaching out
22:23 to survivors, or even survivors reaching out to us,
22:26 we love it when our phone rings,
22:28 when our phone rings all is fine at the office,
22:30 that means we're doing what we're supposed to be doing,
22:32 and again, so for us it's training,
22:35 it's training the Community, letting them understand
22:38 through statistics,
22:39 "How are you aware of what's going on?"
22:42 even for survivors, we provide free self-defense,
22:45 and so, that's huge because
22:50 a lot of survivors don't know how to protect themselves,
22:52 myself and I... I have two daughters,
22:54 we both have... we take the classes all the time
22:57 just to make sure we're on top of what we know
22:59 and how to protect ourselves,
23:01 so that's a big part of us... educating...
23:04 whatever I can teach you to pour back into you
23:07 so that you don't have to go back to that situation,
23:10 that is what we do, through the education component,
23:13 and again, empowering you, letting you know,
23:16 "There's a Community out here that welcomes you. "
23:18 There are other survivors that have come through
23:21 there are survivors that are still trying to come through,
23:23 but we have to embrace each other
23:25 and continuously to remind each other
23:27 that we are not by ourselves, there's somebody else.
23:30 "I understand what you've been through
23:31 because I've gone through it," so, understanding...
23:35 there is empowerment in that,
23:37 there's empowerment in knowing that you are not by yourself
23:39 and the greatest peace for us is
23:41 celebrating you, honoring you,
23:43 showing you how beautiful you are on the outside
23:46 and then we pour inside of you
23:48 because you made a big step, it's not easy to do,
23:52 I know... it's not easy to do, but we celebrate you
23:56 and we honor you for being strong enough
23:59 and having the courage to get out.
24:00 That's tremendous,
24:02 what a tremendous work your Foundation is doing,
24:05 Thank you. and how necessary it is.
24:08 Yes. What have your daughters
24:11 taken away from your experience, and also the Foundation,
24:17 tell us about your daughters' reaction to all of this.
24:20 My daughters love it,
24:23 I have always included my two daughters
24:25 in everything that we have done,
24:26 they have been a part of every project,
24:29 every event, going into the Shelters,
24:32 so I have a 14-year-old
24:34 and I have a 19-year-old who is in college,
24:36 she's a freshman in college,
24:37 and so for my 14-year-old, it's amazing to me that she goes
24:41 anytime she has to do a presentation at school,
24:43 she talks about it, she teaches other kids about it,
24:47 other warning signs, she's witnessing it for herself
24:50 young girls that are in a Shelter...
24:52 battered Children's Shelter
24:54 because this is what they had to experience
24:56 so it opens her eyes up to know
24:59 how to be treated as a young lady
25:01 because mommy lives her life,
25:03 to show them what can and cannot happen
25:05 what needs to be done, how someone values you,
25:09 how they treat you, how they talk to you,
25:11 and for my oldest daughter, for her to be in college,
25:13 she's doing the same thing,
25:16 she's teaching other college girls
25:18 because domestic violence is number one on college campuses
25:20 and most people don't know that it could be your daughter,
25:23 and when you're on a college campus,
25:26 this is your transition in life
25:28 of you becoming an adult,
25:30 trying to handle things on your own,
25:31 and leaving mummy, daddy and family behind
25:35 so to watch my daughter, as this 19-year-old young girl
25:38 in college now, teaching other young girls
25:41 even, this is the first time she's dated, ever,
25:45 she will not let guys say certain things to her
25:49 she looks at the warning signs
25:50 and it's taught my children how to have
25:52 healthy relationships
25:54 what a lot of people do not know how to do.
25:56 Absolutely, that is so true,
25:59 can you tell us what are some of the warning signs,
26:02 what are the warning signs of domestic violence?
26:05 It goes back to number one
26:07 if you're noticing that the person that you're with
26:10 is beginning to isolate you from family, friends, loved ones
26:14 they begin to call you little names,
26:16 or they begin to tug on you, pull on you,
26:19 pinch on you,
26:20 they want to control and manipulate most of your time
26:23 those are first-time warning signs
26:26 now, that doesn't mean that this person is going to lead
26:29 automatically to abusing you,
26:30 but number one, that's not healthy
26:32 in any relationship,
26:34 because no one should want to have that much dominance
26:37 over another person, so that's a big tell-tale sign
26:41 especially for our young girls
26:44 who are allowing guys to call you names
26:46 to demean you, to tell you what you're not...
26:49 if someone loves you,
26:50 they should always be valuing who you are
26:52 and pouring "positive" into you,
26:55 not negative, not trying to tear you down
26:58 so those are tell-tale signs
26:59 that tell you, "Hey, these are red flags,
27:01 this is something that I need to investigate a little more
27:04 I am big on always asking questions,
27:07 "What is your relationship like with your mother,
27:09 with your sister?"
27:10 My big question even as a grown woman,
27:14 "If I had to talk to your last girlfriend or ex-wife,
27:19 what would they say about you?"
27:21 Hmmm... that's a good one,
27:24 I ask people, "Hey, how do you handle anger?"
27:28 different things like that to help get some understanding
27:33 as to what may or may not happen,
27:35 so again, first times are the "control factor"
27:38 the control factor... Right...
27:39 Thank you...
27:41 Oh, I can't believe our time is up
27:44 you have been such a wonderful guest
27:47 and we just praise the Lord for having you here
27:50 and for having you on Urban Report.
27:52 Thank you... may God bless you.
27:54 Thank you for having me. Oh, sure.
27:57 That's the end of our Program,
27:59 thanks for tuning in, join us next time,
28:01 because it wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2015-08-03