Women’s Unity Movement presents the first of our TRUTH Series; the focus of the first segment being on Men and Domestic Violence. In this segment we will hear from a few men whom have been brave enough to come forward and share their own personal stories of having survived Domestic Violence in one or more of the various forms. We will also hear from a few men on their opinions and thoughts about Domestic Violence being inflicted on women.
My intentions for all various segments of the TRUTH series is to educate others who may not be aware of such issues, whether it’s because it has never been a challenge they themselves have faced, or whether they don’t choose to pay attention to global news, to educate those whom are aware but choose to ignore the issue/s and lastly to help encourage others in being brave in speaking out. As we know, knowledge is key.
As an advocate for Domestic Violence and having been an 8-year Survivor myself, I voice out time and time again that women are not the only victims; children, the elderly and MEN are also victims. The statistics may not be as considerably high as the statistics for women being abused, but there’s no denying the fact that there are many women who abuse men. Whether it be their children, their partners, their co-workers, friends and so on.
I truly commend the men featured in this series for breaking their silence and choosing to come forward on this platform. My intention by creating this series is to educate others who may not be aware of men also being victims, educating those whom are aware but choose to ignore the issue and lastly to help encourage other men to be brave in speaking out. Knowledge is key.
We will first hear from Zeeq. “Saadiq Zeeq Sylvestre born and raised in New York, is a musician and recorder; philanthropist, artist and entrepreneur. Focused on creating some of the best work of his career. Also a live performer for the ages.”
Ztrength: a piece by S. Sylvestre
There were many years of my life I questioned what it was, never quite having a grip on the reality that stood before me. Yet, it consumed me. It was I; and that identity had a hold over me. It was crippling in ways I would not comprehend until I was much older.
Growing up as a child with divorced parents is its own kind of dysfunction, but this experience added insult to injury. Being a part of a domestic violence situation where family and friends are compromised could come with an immense amount of pressure for any child or adult alike. The stifling peer-pressure that comes with keeping a dangerous code of silence (to at least) in an attempt to keep the peace over seriously addressing the issue and letting it unravel for better or worse could prove to be troubling for all parties involved. I will leave it to others to determine who/which is the most affected. What I want to acknowledge is my background story was not the end of my story. While I’m not perfect, and everyone heals at their own pace, I was not reduced to being a victim of those circumstances.
I am finally at a place where my identity finally belongs to me as opposed to being tied to the tragic detriments of DV. I have been afforded the right to speak and live my truth daily and despite the constant reminders of my humble beginnings, I remained true to not allowing this obstacle to defeat me. In fact, the opposite occurred when I focused on strengthening all the great qualities I already had within myself. This assisted and ultimately resulted in being able to observe and work on all the obvious bad qualities that were affecting my relationships.
One thing I’ve always been honoured to say is that the cycle of DV will not be perpetuated through me. I have never intentionally physically or mentally abused any woman I’ve ever been enamoured in a relationship with, or anyone at all for that matter. You see, even though this has so far been a discussion about me; the real focus is where it all started: my parents.
My mom (a DV survivor) could be accredited with making this a reality. She saved her children, as well as herself, from a life of turmoil and devastation of DV all because she decided to make that one life changing decision; to leave. Unbeknown to me, that one decision would be the pillar and foundation for the kind of man I would grow to be. Perhaps if she stayed, I would be in a much worse place than I am today; and for that I’m grateful. Not bitter nor scorned; but aware. Realistically I feel it’s safe to say my mother, as well as others have set this example.
Through these actions of strength, they have planted the seeds for women and men of the future to handle these difficult and unfortunate occurrences graciously and appropriately. I want to inspire all who read this piece to embrace the strength that already lives within them to understand perfection is not necessary to make progress. We are all just doing our best every day to deal with the things we find difficult to speak upon.
Stay strong. Keep focused. BE ALIVE.
Peace and love, S. Sylvestre (ZEEQ)