I focus on meeting the often ignored and unmet mental health needs of victims/survivors of sexual and domestic violence who identify as black and/or are identified as black, and those who identify with the African American experience. My goal is to raise awareness through education, while empowering victim/survivors to engage in activities that center their life on living healthier lifestyles. Sadly, a silenced victim/survivor stands unprepared, yet likely, to experience a lifetime of poor mental health.
Black victim/survivors of sexual and domestic violence, understand all too well the lived experiences of reporting a crime to law enforcement about the possible outcome. Historically, crimes often go unreported due to the multi-faceted complexities and stigmas associated with skin color and/or phenotype. The Sojourner Group validates these experiences and consciously addresses the biases, barriers, cultural and spirituality differences, family history, regional norms, the lack of trust with law enforcement, and the negative history among medical professionals and mental health providers. While mainstream providers attempt to meet these needs their lived experiences often make it difficult to comprehend these norms; therefore causing them to overlook or simply or dismiss the underlying issues at the forefront of healing.
The Sojourner Group is diligent in providing educational tools that will guide, direct, and emancipate Black women victimized by a crime that has silenced them far too long. For a silenced victim/survivor stands unprepared, yet likely to experience a lifetime of poor mental health. Poor mental health can lead to suicide, substance abuse, and chronic conditions related to unhealthy weight.
My mantra is to EDUCATE, ENGAGE, and EMPOWER. We respectfully acknowledge and validate the cultural differences that are significant when a victim/survivor is functioning to move towards a more dignified and healthier lifestyle. We work diligently to provide social instructions that bolster a victim/survivor to overcome life’s obstacles.
I encourage survivors to live the second principle of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia (koo-jee-chah-GOO-lee-ah) — “Self-Determination” —- ‘Define Ourselves, Name Ourselves, Create for Ourselves, and Speak for Ourselves;’ qualities favorable to developing healthier lifestyles and families.
- To exercise integrity, respect, and sincere transparency when working with survivors.
- To keep survivors at the forefront of planning and development, with a strong focus on women and children.
To nurture and embrace the need for culturally specific training and advocacy for Black women who have survived sexual assault and domestic violence.
To be consistently mindful of the cultural differences, roadblocks, and other elements impeding the healing process for Black women who have survived sexual assault and domestic violence.
To focus on the status of SURVIVORS and redefine the term Victim.
To hear and validate the voices often silenced, ignored and/or denigrated by regularly introducing and reinforcing tools that promote and lead to safe and healthy communication for a well-rounded life-cycle.
To increase awareness of healthy masculinity to men and boys and diminish stereotypes that impede goals toward healthy relationships.
The Sojourner Group is a culturally-based organization focusing on the multi-faceted complexities specific to Black women who have survived sexual and domestic violence. We recognize that assumptions and societal stigmas are the driving forces that lead a survivor down the path of social isolation. A silent victim/survivor stands unprepared, yet likely to experience a lifetime of poor mental health.