We had the good fortune of connecting with Katina Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katina, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
This question is near to my heart, because that’s just what it takes to heal from domestic abuse…HEART. Heart and SUPPORT from family, friends, and community. And that support is part of the collective process. We MUST SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER — especially in the Black community, where domestic abuse is an issue we’ve been dealing with since Jim Crow.

There are many reasons why domestic abuse is prevalent within the Black community, and my business is one that enables those who are suffering from domestic abuse to be seen and heard by simply LISTENING to the stories, and letting the speaker have a SAFE space in which to speak, as well as express themselves without fear of repercussions, or JUDGEMENT. And that is where catharsis, and healing commences. Which is what The MelaninMotherhood is all about!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My name is Katina. I am a Mom of three and also a Domestic Violence survivor turned advocate. Unfortunately, my exit from my abusive relationship was rather tumultuous as was the entire experience, I had always contacted authorities for help throughout the course of the relationship and, received no assistance. In fact, one of the officers responded to a disturbance at my home one day and said to the other officer “Oh, its just another Domestic dispute.” As a person who was being abused mentally, emotionally and physically everyday, it was rather discouraging and disturbing to find that those in place to help me, did not actually care about saving my life. They never properly identified me as a victim when they responded to disturbances and what I mean by this is, they never separated he and I to speak with us separately. They proceeded to say in front of him on repeated occasions that “there was nothing that they could do if I did not want to press charges and that I would have to file an eviction to free myself of this situation.” Could they have given me the number to Live Safe Resources (a resource for Domestic Violence)? Could they have provided me with the number to the National Domestic Violence hotline? Could they have told me to contact PADV Atlanta? They were not helpful at all. These chain of events were occurring just as the US was succumbing to the COVID-19 pandemic; there were no evictions happening, So where does that leave me? This gave my abuser leeway to do whatever he felt like doing because the authorities had physically said in front of him that they would not help me. Some ask, why didn’t you press charges? There is one answer: “I was afraid.” Abusers often threaten not only the victim but, their families or job security as well. So naturally, I said no. He would often flip the story on me too making it seem like he was the victim. However, I always had some type of physical marking to suggest otherwise. What is astonishing about this is that not one officer ever directly asked me, “Ma’am are you okay? Nobody.” In the end, I was arrested and charged with battery for finally standing up to my abuser and saying “enough is enough.” After my arrest, I applied for a TPO which was initially denied. Yet another failure by the judicial system. He wreaked havoc on my life for the next week including stalking me and vandalizing my vehicle. I applied for a TPO the second time which was granted. My abuser violated that TPO hours later and was arrested. This entire chain of events with my experience fueled me to become an advocate and bring light to not only what happened to me and how the judicial system failed me but, to bring light to what is potentially happening to others. This was the birth of my non profit organization: The Melanin Motherhood, Inc. Our mission is to raise Domestic Violence awareness through preventative education and community involvement; Fostering sisterhood by telling my story so other survivors know that it’s okay to live their truths. The more we have these tough conversations about Domestic Violence in the community, the more we educate our children on what healthy relationships look like and the more we get involved to bring awareness, the better our chances of ending Domestic Violence altogether. As of today, The Melanin Motherhood, Inc is recognized as a domestic non profit corporation in the state of Georgia! Very excited about that. We actually have our first women’s empowerment brunch coming up in August here in Atlanta. There are a few things in store for this year, actually. God is really using me and I am grateful. If you are experiencing Domestic Violence, our website is available as a resource to you and it is a SAFE place. You may visit us at www.themelaninmotherhood.org.

What I want the world to know about me is that I AM A SURVIVOR, not a victim. My experiences and my past do not define me and it does not have to define you either! Lessons are life long, so I’m still learning. What I can say I’ve learned, is to RECOGNIZE LOVE when it is given, and to NOT allow the past to affect the future — a future replete with LOVE BECAUSE BLACK WOMEN DESERVE TO BE LOVED and protected at all costs!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Honestly, I am not a native ATLien and am very much still learning the area. However, what i know about my best friend is that she loves wine, upscale restaurants and very laid back environments. She also very much loves her people and anything related to African American history. We both are alike in those areas. If she were to come and visit, I would definitely start off by taking her to the Martin Luther King historic district. When I went there, it was such a humbling experience to be at the final resting place of such royalty. To see and explore the childhood home of Martin Luther King Jr was breathtaking and I will never forget it. From there we would probably go grab a bite to eat and party at Boogalou restaurant and lounge. I LOVE THAT PLACE. I think the décor of the bar swings is what captivates me. I always have a good time there. Prior to her leaving, we would have to visit The Trap Museum. On her last night here, I would take her to Ray’s on the River in Cobb County. Man, oh man! The entire vibe of that place is subtle and classy. The live music, dim lights, classiness of the décor and top quality food are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I know she would appreciate dinner at Ray’s for sure.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shout out the UjIMA (The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community) for their leadership in promoting their program that focuses on training and outreach tools that reduce violence and homicide against Black women, and the Women of Color Network that advocates on behalf of ALL women.

Website: www.themelaninmotherhood.org

Instagram: https://instagram.com/the.melaninmotherhood?igshid=1nd65gwutmvxc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMelaninMotherhood

Image Credits
OMG Photography, LLC

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