Domestic violence victims are usually silenced by fear or worse, but Ashanti’s younger sister Kenashia “Shia” Douglas, lived to share her story.
It’s been two years since Douglas first shared a birthday video with a photo of her face battered and bruised. The damage resulted from a violent encounter with her then-fiancé. Her traumatic yet triumphant experience moved her big sister Ashanti to post a heartfelt message at the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Oct.),
“Words will never be able to express the amount of pain, fury, and disgust I feel reliving these moments… but at the same time, I am so proud of how strong, courageous, resilient and unbreakable you are. My sister is a warrior! I love you deep and infinitely. Thank you for being so brave and bringing awareness to this evil, vile and sad behavior that so many women face every day. You did it! You won! Some women feel so scared that they have no way out… by sharing your story you bring hope, strength & continue to raise awareness for Domestic Violence.”
The 41-year-old singer added,
“God continues to bless you every day as you grow, prosper… and walk in your purpose…your heart, mind, and conscience are clear…you will get back EVERYTHING YOU DESERVE!!! The universe always wins! So, continue to hold your head high as the sun. I’m so excited for this next chapter of your life is only the beginning! I’m here by your side always and forever with whatever against whoever! Loving you infinitely.”
Celebrities like actress Eva Marcelle, singer Tiny, rapper Trina, and actor Larenz Tate showed Shia support in the comments. Rapper/actor Method Man wrote “She Won”.
The creative director and designer first spoke about the incident with Media Personality Angie Martinez last year. With Ashanti by her side, the 33-year-old told the story behind the brutal photo she posted online.
Douglas said, “I have a past experience with domestic abuse. I hadn’t spoken about it. I hadn’t communicated or even ever spoken to anyone outside of my family about what happened… It showed a lot of the real things that took place at that time. I had my teeth broken.”
It wasn’t the first time she had been abused by her partner of 13 years. She revealed that the man she loved mentally and physically abused her during the last two to three years of their relationship.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women and men in one year. Signs of intimate partner violence can materialize in the form of physical abuse, like in Shia’s case, stalking, psychological abuse, emotional abuse and intimidation, isolation, sexual abuse, and even financial abuse. It can also begin at any point in the relationship.
Thankfully, The Wife of Creation’s founder escaped her dangerous circumstances. While speaking to Angie Martinez, Ashanti mentioned how grateful she was that things did not turn out worse.
“Unfortunately, some women didn’t make it. Some women didn’t leave. Some women are not here. You know, it could’ve been a different situation. It could’ve been a casket involved.”
Reports show that intimate partners perpetrate 65 percent of all murder-suicides and black women are often the victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three times more likely than white women to experience death because of domestic violence. In 2021, 22 percent of domestic violence events ending in homicide involved Black women.
The Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence.