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The Plague | Mr. Prodg: New Chapter!

The Plague

The Plague
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Unfortunately there’s a new disease plaguing the Haitian community and it can very well destroy many families if the right precautionary measures are not taken. Lately there have been a surmountable number of domestic violence cases in the Haitian community and some of them have even resulted in death. A pastor killed his wife and her lover after finding out she was having an affair. There are multiple cases reported daily in Boston, New York City, Miami and other metropolitan cities with large Haitian communities. The number of reported domestic violence cases in the Haitian community has doubled according to published reports. Haitian women are being victimized and abused and authorities feel that most of the abuse has gone unnoticed primarily because of the immigration status of the victims, language barrier and lack of resources.

The latest trend in the Haitian community is for the men to travel back to their homeland to find a homegrown wife with homegrown values. These women are usually expected to be subservient in values and domesticated once they arrive in the US. Due to the language barrier these women usually have to submit to their husbands and are expected to follow all orders. The prisons are now being filled with Haitian men because of domestic violence and most of the time these men find themselves facing deportation after serving their sentences. This problem has gone unnoticed for too long because Haitian society doesn’t protect the rights of women. The cases are usually reported when neighbors get involved and the police are called.

Another common practice in the Haitian community is that these men would sometimes travel back to Haiti with their wives to physically discipline them because there are no laws in place to prosecute these men for beating their wives. As a kid, it was not unusual to witness many women get beat by their husbands as law enforcement officials in Haiti stood by and did nothing. To add to the burden of the women’s predicament, the abusers sometimes also try to manipulate the women into thinking that their livelihood depends on the fact that the husband has to file the legal papers for them to obtain permanent legal status in this country. These women, most of the time, suffer alone as survival is usually their only option. Not to say that all Haitian men are doing this, but there have been too many cases of domestic abuse reported in the Haitian community.

Since professional counseling is not really part of Haitian culture, this continues to be a burgeoning problem as these men find it hard to adapt socially sometimes in a progressive society. To add to that, the machismo state of mind all too often force these men to go to extreme measures to end the life of their spouse altogether. This problem also involves women abusing men, but only in rare cases.

Many of these women suffer in silence due to their inability to speak English and the lack of knowledge about the resources available to them. It is also a cultural shame for Haitian men to be handcuffed. So these women are overly careful with their actions because they never want to embarrass their husband in an unforgiving way. The Haitian community needs to reach out to these victims and educate them about the laws in the United States that protect them and that domestic abuse is not acceptable in this country. Also, these men need to understand that domestic violence affects the whole family, including the innocent children who sometimes have to endure the same pain and abuse that their mother have to suffer.

The psychological affect on the family sometimes can be so severe that a repeated cycle is created for generations to come. The assimilation process for the Haitian Diaspora seem to pose a threat to what they believe are “traditional Haitian values.” These values are the some of the reasons why the country is in its current state. In order for us to have a better Haiti, the rights of all people have to be protected and women especially need to have a stronger voice for the prosperity of all Haitians.

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  • Love

    Wow this is a very,very serious issue. It is very sad to hear that domestic violence has doubled in the haitian community and my heart goes out to the women who have to deal with this abuse. Becoming aware of the situation is one thing but finding a solution is another. So my question to you Mrprodg is how do you suggest we help domestic violence victims. I know in New York there is a place in brooklyn named Sue Rock that helps domestic violence victims. But how do we get the word out and actually get women help.

  • jamie

    Very Very Very Important to me. Even if it was short, Praise God, I was involved in a domestic violence situation. People don’t understand when you go through that, that you lose power and defense over yourself…so when you hear ” Why doesn’t she get out of it” it sounds easier than it actually is. it is very very difficult. My heart goes out to the Haitian woman because it is in our culture to be domesticated. We want to serve our husbands and our kids. Those words from the Bible gets misused to validate coward men.

    The Haitian community is a little more difficult than any other case of domestic violence because: 1. Women domestication is common 2. Our community is silent to what happens in our households. It doesn’t get talked about and stays part of the “family business”. I actually sponsored and organized an event in 2009 which brought education and awareness to women of color. It was a seminar n three different Haitian churches education and bringing awareness about domestic abuse. How it is not okay, and where you can get help. I also empowered how beautiful woman are and how they don’t have to subject themselves to coward men. I feel that was a start to showing a light on how this issue can be resolved. Awareness and education is the best way to start

  • SM

    You made very valid points and I applaud you for speaking out about this. However I am tired of hearing people just say without real knowledge of Haitian laws that “they aren’t any laws in Haiti…” about whatever. This is simply not true and I know it for a fact becaus emy dear friend in Haiti who was being abused by her ex-husband found help because of those laws and even had a restriction order against him. Yes, they have those in Haiti. The sad thing is that many are unaware of the laws because of the illiteracy running rampant in Haiti, but the laws do exist and so do organizations and lawyers willing to help.

    As for the Haitian victims of domestiv abuse living here in the States, it’s a matter of knowledge and fear. If they just got here their husbands probably arranged it so that they stay unaware of things outside their immediate environment, however as women we need to seek for more. Use the internet, get neighbors attention, use the phone or simply talk to a friend to let people know you need help because that is the first step. And it is also up to us, the communities, when we see something amiss to not say “this isn’t our business” but to actually do something about it. At my old building in BK, I used to call the police about my abusive Russian next door neighbor who would beat his wife every morning. The sounds of her crying and things crashing were hard to ignore and from inside my own walls I couldn’t bear it so I called and every time she’d let the police leave. I don’t know what’s become of her now, but I do know that I tried to do my part.

    This is Haitians, Russians, Americans, everyone’s problems. There are more teens in the U.S. getting abused by partners and date raped more now than ever before :( The youth needs to learn that sex is a serious matter and so is abuse. It is a big deal and it starts with us making them aware.

  • SM

    BRAVO BLAKE for writing this!

  • Maguie

    I think they need to get punish harder that they are. I sometimes hear some man say if they were haiti their woman would not have the gut to talk to them any kind of way. America change thing. Haiti need to have a rule about that and educate those people about domestic violence. Nice 1 Blake!!

  • Alexandra D

    Glad to have you put this out in writing. It has gone on for so long.I grew up watching this happen almost everyday. Growing up I never really could understood why women stay in these situtations. Keep doing what you do

    • Mr. Prodg

      Thanks AD

  • Eksqwizit

    this is not new in the haitian community…it may be in the news more often…but it is a constant wiithin the family. What we do not hear enough about is the mental abuse, it is the carbon dioxide of abuse…the silent killer.

    There are a few men suffering as well and we do not hear about them. They do not say much because it is not macho to complain. A lot of women are physically abusive and love to hit men, this needs to be addressed as well..but as a community we do not often address a lot of our internal issues…sad!

    • Eksqwizit

      *carbon monoxide

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