The first big, purple elephant represents the dynamics of domestic violence which are (e.g., physical
and sexual violence, power and control, intimidation, isolation, minimization, denial, blame, male
privilege, coercion, threats, children, finances, scriptural texts, etc.,) which are used to silence the victim.
The second big, purple elephant represents the state of African Americans as disproportionately
represented in the following categories (e.g., poverty, high school graduation rates, living-wage
employment, contact with law enforcement, single-parent families, intimate partner violence, family
violence, child abuse, parenting their children, children fighting in school, school suspensions,
school expulsion, etc.,). African-Americans appear to have disengaged from many roles such
as marriage, parenting and gainful employment and have shifted to pleasure seeking behaviors
like substance use, need sex and violence.
The third big, purple elephant is the one-size-fits-all approach to domestic violence as encountered by African American families - victims, perpetrators and child witnesses. This approach lessens the response to create an atmosphere of safety, hope, resilience, resources, accountability to recover from trauma and begin to move forward. Just as there are tactics to blame and silence the victims of domestic violence (e.g., the dynamics of domestic violence), there are also tactics that blame and silence the African American's response to domestic violence (e.g., the dynamics of domestic violence), the cultural expectations (e.g., be strong, fight, keep your family together, do not show weakness or vulnerability, etc.), and co-occurring societal oppressions (e.g, racism, micro-aggressions, stereotypes, biases, incongruent niceties, inequalities, and while listening to the lion tell the giraffe's story).
The fourth big, purple elephant is the silence of African Americans. After all that has been implemented to create a systemic response to domestic violence, silence and the big, purple elephants remain. Therefore, the AADPP is vitally necessary, but will not likely be accepted, in the Gainesville area to identify response differences that break the silence and remove the big, purple elephants.
Because the one-size approach does not fit all. Funders who support the vision wherein at least 10 different restaurant chains who in our society sell hamburgers, yet each hamburger is prepared differently, can also see that the cultural context wherein domestic violence occurs must be included in the systemic response that considers differences will support the vision of the AADPP.
Domestic violence is a topic that tends to be on again off again. Currently, in our society domestic violence is off again. It will remain off again until the next celebrity victim or perpetrator makes the national media, or the next incidence is so horrific major news outlets are left with no choice but to feature the story. Then and only then will domestic violence be on again. But, for the African American victim, domestic violence is usually off most of the time. Yet, this on again off again response to a continuous problem involving power and control creates big, purple (e.g, the color representing domestic violence bruises) elephants in the rooms of our society. Our society seemingly prefers to ignore these big, purple elephants in its rooms. When I think about domestic violence as it is encountered among the African American population, there are at least four big, purple elephants in its rooms. The four big, purple elephants are the dynamics of domestic violence, the status of African Americans, the one-size-fits-all approach to domestic violence, and the message society sends to African American victims is to remain silent.