My Dark Side on Domestic Violence

September 4, 2010

One Person’s Story By Jaqueline Rowe

Although, it never appears easy to discuss issues surrounding life as a Domestic Violence victim, I find it extremely important at this stage of my life to speak out now for other recovering survivors.

Well, at the tender age of seven years old I landed in New York City, a city many considered thriving with opportunities for new living and a host of other assortments made to enhance an individual’s productivity.

However, being an immigrant with my roots firmly established in Jamaica from birth appeared much different than someone who may have been born in America.

My mother was a housewife, while my father was a constable with the police force in Jamaica. Our family, which consisted of six brothers and three sisters, were pretty close-knit but had our share of knowing what poverty really entailed very early on in our lives.

“…dealing with the horror…left a trauma, which I did not realize would affect me until much later in adulthood…”

At roughly about four years old my two older brothers passed away, then multiple family members just began to drop like flies leaving me to only wonder what was occurring around me. It was a real grueling period in my young life, which I would never forget not even now as an adult, because it was a defining moment, which would later shape my future. In fact, even though these events were part of my history as a child, dealing with the horror of these issues left a trauma, which I did not realize would affect me until much later in adulthood.

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Eventually, I learned of my father’s abuse towards my mother, which created some resentment and anger because I envisioned my father as a caring, gentle, kind-loving man, not someone who would abuse a woman like my mother. As I began to grow from an innocent child into adulthood I often found myself repeating silently to myself that “no” man will ever be allowed to physically abuse me like what happened with my mother. Unfortunately, this oath was shattered just like my dreams for a happy home filled with love, security, and affection was as a child. Often, as a mature grown-up woman many of my endeavors with men consisted of attempting to escape those who reminded me of my abusive father. Many times over, this remained an impossible obstacle to conquer.

I can vividly recall in my mind, times when both me and my children’s father exchanged words which led to him saying some very hateful, derogatory, and hurtful things which I realize now had a damaging affect on my ego, confidence, but most importantly my self-esteem as a woman. By the age of 15, I was about to conceive my first child and was running with some of the most notorious gangsters the five boroughs had known. In fact, people knew who Jackie Rowe a.k.a. “Big Jackie “ from Brooklyn was. My name was so famous it was mentioned in circles often reserved for men only. Fear was almost instantaneously conjured when mentioning my name and now I could only understand why.

I completely reversed in my favor and took advantage of the fear that my father generated in my mother. Additionally, “Big Jackie” not only imposed her will on men but did the exact same thing to woman as well. Most of my prey were men more imposing and thought-to-be intimidating. Now that I’ve begun the healing process, which included the support of my children, grandchildren, and other notable friends, I understand the value of hard work, dedication, persistence, and lastly perseverance.

Today, I can proudly say that every misfortune I’ve had to endure has been well worth the pain and agony thus far, but I’ve learned to leave matters beyond my control with God, and ask him daily for guidance and direction now in my life. Of course, Jacqueline Rowe has became famous as a result of her affiliation with Mike Tyson and other celebrities, but none of that would have been possible had there not been sacrifice made to achieve my goals in life.

Consequently, one of the major issues I needed to resolve was removing myself from where I was being abused at, which happened to be right under the nose of one of the most famous and influential individuals of that time who happened to be Mike Tyson. In fact, Tyson had no idea about the abuse I was suffering under because he himself had been in prison at the time on a unrelated matter. Once he returned from prison I thought there existed no better time than that moment to break away from the abuse before I ended up committing an act I would regret for the rest of my life.

“…people forget or fail to understand the main ingredients to life which is opportunity, time, and patience. Everyone wants to be happy and content, but they never want to do the things that bring joy to their lives…

So I averted my attention to the music industry, which was thriving with opportunities and pursued my life dreams and aspirations. Most people looking from the outside in only see a ritzy, sexy diva that made it out of the hood and became a successful businesswoman. Sometimes, people forget or fail to understand the main ingredients to life which is opportunity, time, and patience. Everyone wants to be happy and content, but they never want to do the things that bring joy to their lives.

If I had the chance to do everything over again there is only one thing worth changing and that would be my perception of what life is really all about and how God wants me to seek out his blessings. In looking back at my life now, one thing sticks out more than anything, and that was my abusive relationships. Often, the majority of the woman abused think they can redeem or somewhat restore their abuser back to sanity, but being a victim myself who thought like this for seven long years, I realize this is virtually impossible without the aid of professional help. In fact, what all woman need to realize is that they don’t have to stay in an abusive relationship and continue risking their lives. They must understand that, they have the power to choose like I did to leave and never look back.

We must have faith in our ability to resist those sweet sayings like “I’m sorry…it will never happen again, I promise” or even the other fancy lines our abuser might use. Once he places his hands on you the first time the abuse will only get worse over time. Ladies who hear my voice and recognize my pain “PLEASE” don’t be a fool and fall for the tricks, act before you’re unable to take action and lose by offering up your life as a ransom.

“…the number #1 factor leading to all physical abuse and domestic violence cases stem from the abused being first verbally abused…”

In addition, statistics show that the number #1 factor leading to all physical abuse and domestic violence cases stem from the abused being first verbally abused. If we put a halt to the verbal assault then a chance exists to curb those instances of physical violence against woman. In my fight against domestic abuse I intend to continue advocating on behalf of those victims who have no voice for themselves and hope in the very near future they will stand up and speak out.

Join Ms. Rowe at her My Power Butterfly Women’s Empowerment Group

Domestic Violence Guide

East Harlem Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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