Volume 9, Issue 1
Spousal abuse counseling center discussed at NABJ luncheon
One out of every three women will be a victim of domestic abuse. None of them have to take it. This is the message of Karen Walker, a survivor of domestic abuse who founded HERS, Inc. in 2006. She was the keynote speaker at a luncheon for the UL Lafayette chapter of National Association of Black Journalists Feb. 20 at the Student Union. HERS is an acronym for Healing Empowerment Restoration Services.
Walker, a victim of domestic abuse herself, founded HERS after escaping from a dysfunctional marriage to raise awareness through HERS of the impact abuse has on others.
is anything that is undesirable behavior that is forced upon you,” Walker
told Communication faculty and abuse survivors, adding that abuse often
turns inward. “I started realizing there were a lot of women just like
Walker said more than eight million workdays are lost every year to the effects of abuse.
Abuse affects all facets of life, she said, who noted spouses are not the only ones who suffer when they are abused. She talked about her husband hitting her in front of their children shortly before she left him.
”(Abuse) affects a lot of people, but most devastatingly, it affects the children,” Walker said, adding that children who grow up around domestic abuse often learn that abuse is acceptable and may grow up to abuse or become abused themselves.
Recent studies show African-Americans go through abuse more frequently than other ethnic groups. Walker said this is often related to social status, as well as a perception of less opportunity for the black community and a lower feeling of respect when unemployed.
“If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was alive today, he'd be very concerned about domestic violence, not only in the black community, but with women as a whole,” Walker said.