Latifah Muhammad
stevie j

Domestic Violence Advocate Calls Stevie J. An “Abuser”

 

Stevie J’s love triangle with Mimi Faust, the mother of one of his daughters, and former stripper Joseline Hernandez has made for an interesting story line on Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, but not everyone finds it entertaining.

In an article posted on TheGrio, domestic violence survivor and advocate, Sil Lai Abrams called Stevie out for his actions:

Domestic violence isn’t just verbal or physical assault. Stevie J is a perfect example of how a man doesn’t have to put a finger on a woman in order to abuse her. Chronic infidelity is a form of abuse, as is bullying, name calling, put downs, intimidation and repeated threats of abandonment. Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives and its reality sistren consistently portray female cast members as belligerent, sexually manipulative, emotionally unstable and physically violent.

In such abusive situations, it is common practice to blame the victim, with her “character flaws” used as justification for her dehumanizing treatment. Reality TV viewers play this out, delighting in trashingL&HHA’s Joseline and Mimi for being involved with Stevie, buying into the show’s unspoken message: abuse is the penance that black women must pay for actual or perceived personal inadequacies — or even just to be in a relationship.

Those who sit in judgment of Joseline and  Mimi don’t understand that one of the consequences of abuse is its effect on a victim’s mental health. The reality is that, women who are battered suffer from a disproportionately higher rate of mental health disorders. Look, I’m not a psychologist, but could it be possible that some of the “ratchet” behavior we ridicule on L&HHA or other exploitive “reality” shows are actually just a symptom of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that often results from being abused? And if that’s the case, why are we laughing at women for having “normal” emotional responses to long-term trauma?

Abrams went on to brand the VH-1 reality show as harmful to the community at large:

It’s worth considering that maybe some disturbing trends in the black community (such as our divorce rates and higher rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, intimate partner homicide and HIV infection) will decrease when we stop tolerating or embracing harmful shows like ‘L&HHA’ and ‘Basketball Wives’  that promote relational aggression, sexism, infidelity and verbal, emotional and physical abuse as the norm. Black women: if we can’t stop them from producing these shows, we should consider rejecting such vehicles of our own oppression and the cable networks that deliver them.

Abuse is a strong word, but does Abrams have a point?

Click here to read her entire piece.

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Photo: VH1

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