Los Angeles-The crisis of domestic violence is annually observed during the month of October. For women of color, especially black women, domestic violence is likely to end up on their doorsteps more often times than not. Women of Indian descent deal with domestic violence twice the number of times it touches down any other race.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, an estimated number of 4.8 million women are either raped or physically assaulted each year by someone they know or are involved with. Black women make up nearly one-third of all murder cases related to domestic violence and have a 35 percent rate higher than white women to encounter the abusive behavior.
Veteran stage and film actress Minnie Foxx want nothing more than to change those statistics. Foxx doesn’t shy away from discussing the issue of domestic violence. Instead, Foxx, whose acting roles include stints on television hits such as MAD TV, In Living Color and in urban-driven films “Cell Block 4” and “Fear of the Black Hat,” has chosen to speak out about the issue.
Foxx goes out and speak to women and young girls on the topic of domestic violence as if their lives depend on it. Her own life at one time mirrored what she now talks about. Foxx had to flee an abusive relationship she was in.
So now the television, film and theatrical performer makes it a mandate for herself to share with other women and young girls the hold of being in an abusive relationship: physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally. There’s almost no place where Foxx won’t go to talk about domestic violence. She goes behind the prison walls and speaks to inmates about it.
She counsels girls and young women. She walks among the homeless on Skid Row examining it. She even addresses domestic violence in the stage production, “Glady’s Place,” which she wrote and co-starred in.
Being a performer is how Foxx makes a living. Talking about domestic violence is her calling, her outreach to help others. It is also her ministry, said Foxx. Part of that ministry is not just talking to women about not becoming victims of domestic violence. Foxx also remind women about their role in domestic violence and how they can be unwilling or willing participants to the problem.
The highly-publicized physical and violent spat between singers Chris Brown and Rhianna a couple of years ago demonstrated that domestic violence is not immune from happening in any sector of society.
“I just spoke at a women’s prison, and there are women there for domestic violence, some who have murdered, or are behind bars because of attempted murder,” Foxx said. “I like to speak about the other side as well. Many times when you hear about domestic violence, it is always the physical, we also talk about verbal abuse.
“Verbal abuse is just as painful as being punched in the face. It can be just as painful as a broken arm. You broken arm heals, you won’t always remember it, but the scars of being verbally abused beat down on you so much so that is heart wrenching and sometimes you can’t come out of that. It can really mess you mentally. The women in the world that are abusers to men are quite a few. You don’t hear much about it. It exists.”
The numbers of domestic violence are alarming. The American Institute on Domestic Violence reports that women make up anywhere between 85 to 95% of domestic violence cases. But the statistical number of men being battered by women is on the rise. According to a fact sheet put out by Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR), men make up 38% of partner domestic abuse cases.
Foxx said getting young folks more educated about domestic violence can reduce those numbers, but receiving that kind of information starts at home at school. Going to local schools to talk domestic violence, Foxx said more young women are now likely to instigate this type of behavior.
“In the schools we’re trying to teach the kids to keep your hands to yourself,” Foxx said. “If you’re hitting little Johnny, then when you become an older teenage a girl and you’re hitting John, John’s reaction is going to be a little different from Johnny. And Junior might hit you back.
“It starts in the schools. It starts at the home. I’m passionate about this because I lived through a certain level of domestic violence in a verbal nature. Some of my friends have lived through the physical side. ”My goal is to help inspire someone else and help them overcome what they’re going through.”