African American men in Toledo want to stop domestic violence

December 19, 2012 in Lifestyle, Lifestyles, Local News, News, Top Stories

BY DARRYL Q. TUCKER

Journal Managing Editor

Three African American men in Toledo are trying to stop domestic violence.

In order to eradicate it, trio decided to go to the community and tell members about the consequences of the abuse.

The men presented “Dying to Love … Domestic Violence and the Men Against It” workshop Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Grace Community Center, 406 W. Delaware. About 10 people attended.

The organizers are Ben Hester Jr., Washington Muhammad and Waymon Farmer.

“This originated because of what we are seeing before our eyes,” Hester said referring to a growing number of domestic violence incidents. He said they are messengers to getting the word out because domestic violence destroys families.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, Muhammad said. The problem is often overlooked.

“Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it,” he said. “No one should have to live in fear of the person they love. If you recognize yourself or someone you know … reach out. There is help available.”

Domestic violence and abuse are used to gain and maintain control over a person, he said. Abusers use fear, guilt, shame and intimidation to wear down a victim, he said.

Augustine Abbott, a domestic violence Advocate at Family Service of Lucas County, said abusers practice physical and emotional abuse.

Abusers always want to isolate the victims, she said.

The victim wants to be in love and wants that person to love them, she said.

“If you are angry you will take it out on whoever,” Abbott said.

Incarceration is not deterrent to stopping domestic violence, she said.

More often, the abuser will use the time behind bars to think of ways when released to torture the victim, Abbott said.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ohio.

“It needs to be talked abut everyday,” Abbott said.

Domestic violence is a serious issue in Toledo, she said. Shelters for women and their children are full and there’s no room to house victims, she said.

Hester’s wife, Robin Hester, spoke during the workshop of enduring 26 years of domestic violence abuse from her ex-husband.

During the emotional presentation, she said her ex-husband recently received a prison sentence for violating her, even after she was married to Ben Hester.