When God Is On Your Side

Friday, January 6, 2017

Me: Tell me about yourself
Kawesi: My name is Kawesi Brown. 
I am a 38 year old mother of 3 beautiful children, I was born in Manhattan, New York and raised majority of my youth in Roselle, New Jersey. At the age of 13 years old my family relocated to Montgomery, Alabama, where I finished high school and attended Troy State University for a BA degree in Psychology.

Me:How was your life growing up?  
Kawesi: I had two wonderful parents, and I was a daddy's girl. My daddy was so loving and playful and he always made me laugh and smile. I loved watching the love that he and my mom shared. I remember all the family get together and BBQ's we had while living up north. I was always surrounded by family and friends. Things changed a lot after moving down south. I had to adjust to a totally different environment and I didn't know anyone at my new school. After time things started to get better socially, but things at home with my parents weren't going very well. After a couple of years my mom and dad divorced, which left me broken and looking for that male figure (father) replacement in my life.

Me:How did you meet the gentlemen?
Kawesi: When I was 15 years old, I met the father of my oldest daughter. It was summer time and I knew his younger brother from school and had heard that he had a brother that was well known through out the city, but had never seen him. I found out later that he was away at Job corps and returned due to misbehaving at the facility. When I saw him for the first time, I remembered thinking, I can see why he is well known and so many boys are afraid of him. He was about 6'4, very muscular built and had this take charge attitude about himself, but because of my father, I always saw men as being loving, caring and gentle beings to a woman, so I did not feel afraid of him at all. I begin to date him and soon found out that not all men are like my father.

Me: When was the first time he physically abused you?
Kawesi: I started noticing very jealous actions from him. He would question in detail where I was and what I was doing when I was not around him. After school started again, he would be waiting on me every afternoon, at the bus stop, when I got off the bus. He would know details about things I did at school. I found out that he had someone that I attended school with watching me and informing him on my daily activities. I felt he was super jealous, but he had not been physical yet. One Saturday afternoon, me and my friends were playing hide & seek in our neighborhood, and I was hiding on the side of the building when one of my male friends found me. He grabbed me by my arm and yelled "gotcha!". We were laughing when all of a sudden I felt a sharp blow to the side of my face and I fell to the ground. When I looked up my boyfriend was standing over me, with his fist balled up yelling at me. He snatched me up and walked me home while clutching on to the back of my neck. After my parents divorce, my mom worked 2 jobs, which caused her to be way from home majority of the day. He knew this and used it to his advantage. Once we made it to my house, he slammed me up against the wall, while choking me and told me that he better not ever catch another boy touching me again, or he would kill me. I was so afraid that I didn't tell my mom.

Me: Did he take his anger out on you?

Kawesi: After a while, the only emotion that a received from him was anger. He was constantly accusing me of cheating and lying to him and if I tried to explain, he would go into a rage and slap or choke me. I started to realize that anything I did that he did not say I could do would end in some sort of physical abuse. It was like I was his property and he controlled my every move. It had gotten to the point that my male friends would no longer play with or even speak to me at school, because he had threaten them and they were all afraid of him. Soon the only emotion that I showed him was fear.

Me: Did you have to ever go to the hospital?

 Kawesi: At first, I would hide my injuries from my mom and the ones that could not be hid, I would lie about how I got them. I didn't want her to know that I had a boyfriend, let alone an abusive one. The day would come when I could not deny or cover up the abuse from my parents anymore. I came to a point where I no longer wanted to be in a relationship, but I knew he would not just let me go. I begin to get off at a different bus stop and spend the evening at a friends house until my mom got off work instead of coming home. I just wanted to avoid him, but of course this made him very angry. One weekend day, I was at home and my mom had just left for work, he came knocking on my door and when I did not answer, he kicked in the door and begin to beat me. I ran to my room and, while in the corner, begged him to please stop. He kept yelling that I could never leave him as he punched me repeatedly in my face. I finally ran to my balcony, on the second floor, and jumped off. I ran to the neighbors apartment and banged on the door until they let me in. I begged her to help me. My nose was bloody and she immediately called the police. He came banging on her door and when she advised him that she had a gun and had called the police, he left. When the police came they called the ambulance, which stated that I needed to go to the hospital so that my injuries could be treated and I could get a scan for any head trauma.

Me: Were your family members aware of what was going on after this incident?

Kawesi: After the ambulance came, the police called my mom and informed her of what had happened and told her to meet me at the hospital where the ambulance was transporting me. At that time, I let my mom know about the abuse. She was shocked, upset, angry and scared all at the same time. After we left the hospital, my mom took me down to the police station to sign a warrant on him. I remember looking in the mirror the next day and not being able to recognize my own face. My eyes were swollen shut, I had knots on my forehead, my lips and cheeks were swollen and I had to get stitches in my left eyebrow area, the scar is still there today. My mom started taking precautions, such as having me come over to her job after school, which was a handicapped children center that was across the street from my school. On the weekends I would stay at my aunt's house. I thought it was all over until I begin to get sick and found out that I was pregnant. My mom spoke with his mom to discuss the pregnancy and the abuse. His mom stated she was unaware of the abuse and that she wanted to be apart of her grandchild's life. It frightened me to know I would be tied to this boy forever.

Me:What was the last straw?
Kawesi: During the first five months of my pregnancy, I was free from him and any abuse, My mom had moved into a house on a different part of town and I finally felt safe from him. One night my mom was at work and I was at home with my little sister and I received a phone call. I was thinking that it was my mom calling to check on us, being that it was so late at night, but it was him. He said, "you thought you could hide from me, but you can't". I immediately hung up and could not believe he had found our phone number. I told my mom and got the number changed and made it private. A few weeks went by and nothing from him, now I was six months pregnant. One night my mom was at work and my sister was sleep, I was up in the living room watching TV. I heard a knock at the front door and assumed it was probably my mom checking in on us during her lunch break, like she did sometimes. When I said who is it, there was no answer. After the second who is it, he kicked the front door in. I ran toward the back room to get the phone and call the police, but he caught me before I could dial. He snatched the phone out my hand and through me down on the bed. I begged him not to hurt me. I kept rubbing my stomach and saying please don't hurt the baby, hoping that would make him have mercy on me. He then pulled out a gun and said he was going to kill me and the baby and then himself. I begged and pleaded for my life and even told him I would get back with him, hoping that would stop him. He told me that it was too late, and he cocked the gun back and put it to my head. I knew that my life was over and all I could think about was my baby and how I would never get to experience life with her. He pulled the trigger and it just made a click noise, he looked at the gun trying to figure out why it didn't fire. I begin to beg more and louder for him not to do it, but he just pulled out the clip, examined it, put it back in the gun and cocked the gun back again. He put it back to my head and I just knew it was really going to be it this time. He pulled the trigger and again just a click. I couldn't believe it. He was looking confused too. All of a sudden I heard police sirens outside my house. He tucked the gun back in his pants and ran out the back door. The police did not see him. The officers came in the house and told me that the elderly neighbors that lived next door saw him kick in my door and they called the police. My mom came home, another warrant was signed and eventually he was picked up. At first he was just charged with unlawful entry of my home, which he served just 3 months in jail. On the same day he was released from jail, he came back to my house, but I was not there alone and after he was advised that the police were being called he left. Another warrant was signed and this time he was caught with the gun he had the night he tried to kill me. The gun was tested and it was determined that it did have a malfunction, which corroborated my story. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, which he was released in 5.

Me:What advice you have for other women in abusive relationship?

Kawesi: GET HELP!, GET OUT! and GET SAFE! It is never acceptable to be hit by your mate, partner or spouse. A lot of times we make up excuses for them or blame ourselves for making them mad enough to hit us, but it is NEVER your fault. There are many reasons why men are abusive. They have built up anger from unrelated issues, they have insecurities within themselves and they feel like controlling and abusing their mate makes them more of a man and some just have been taught by their fathers that abuse is okay. I know sometimes women feel that they love their partner too much to let go and they hide the abuse from friends and family with hope that one day he will change and the abuse will stop. It is definitely harder for married women, because the relationship commitment is deeper, but no matter the case, Domestic Violence is wrong and there are many help facilities and organizations out there design to get you out of your abusive relationship. Please seek help while you still can.

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