I’ve talked with countless young women who have experienced different types of abuse at some point in their lives: mental, verbal, emotional and physical. The abusers vary as well. They can be parents, siblings, friends, co-workers and lovers. I’ve come to realize that when a young woman doesn’t realize her value or worth, she may feel that she doesn’t have any option other than to deal with the abuse and suffer in silence. For younger women, the abuse is sometimes as subtle as a young man raising his voice or taking her cell phone from her and keeping it in order to find out if the young woman is receiving texts or calls from other guys.
Tragically, non-physical abuse can quickly escalate to physical abuse (and domestic violence) with sometimes deadly results. I still have memories of the untimely death of a family friend, who was in her early 20’s when she was killed by her estranged husband. She had begun to make preparations to live her life on her own terms and had moved out of the home that they shared, but her estranged husband’s quest for control led him to take her life and then end his.
Many people (young and old) are looking for acceptance and will sometimes forsake who they are in order to receive the acceptance that they seek. Some people prey on those who are weak or don’t speak up for themselves. Speaking up and letting your voice be heard is critical for your sanity and for your survival. Standing up for what is right doesn’t have to be confrontational, but at the first sign of abuse, run, don’t walk to the nearest exit.
Not having a father in the home can be a factor in the high number of incidences of domestic violence among young people. A young man who hasn’t seen his father treat his mother with love and respect won’t know how to do so in his own relationships with the opposite sex. The flipside is that young women being raised without a father in the home may think that being controlled by someone of the opposite sex is a sign of love. Love is gentle and love is kind. Love doesn’t leave scars (on the heart nor on the body).
Take action now: Meditate on Proverbs 11:16a – “A gracious woman retains honor” (New King James Version).
Embrace this truth: When you realize your true value, no one can diminish it.
“Know Your Value” is the topic that will be discussed in-depth by Rev. Gail Burks-Stansell and Kandee Lewis will shed light on the subject of “Teen Dating Violence and Bullying” onSaturday, March 29, 2014 at the “Daddy’s Girl Empowerment Summit”, a FREE conference for teen girls who are being raised without their fathers. It will be a day of inspiration, empowerment and encouragement.
Mothers are welcome and encouraged to attend. Breakfast and lunch included. Register today at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/daddys-girl-empowerment-summit-registration-10339821685 or by calling (310) 818-3662.
Location: Hope in Christ Community Church, 1019 N. Harris Ave., Compton (8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)