Irma Gibson, a visiting associate professor of social work at Florida A&M, has published a book addressing domestic violence perpetrated on African American males.
“The only way to stop intimate partner violence is to shine a light on it and support each other through it,” said criminal justice junior Antonio Baker. “I think victims often question their own emotions because the abuser has taught them not to trust themselves.”
Gibson’s book “The 21stCentury Crisis of Intimate Partner Violence Among African American Males Victims: Up Close and Personal with an Unnoticed Population: A Social Work Response,” her first published book, addresses the essence of intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence.
“This public health issue is high, but it mostly goes unreported and unattended to,” domestic violence survivor Ronald Sampson said. “As a black male, I have been involved in a toxic relationship where over the time period I did not realize the drastic change in behavior nor routine.”
Gibson’s book contains 14 chapters comprehensively designed from research-based, practice-focused and policy-based perspectives. Intimate partner violence can impact anyone regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, religious affiliation or economic status, she said.
“As a social work professor, teaching about Intimate partner violence and experiencing it up close and personal was unfathomable,” Gibson said. “The responses from the first responders and the school administrators were surprisingly insensitive, naive and stereotypical. Shortly after my son’s childhood friend was intentionally run over and killed at 25 by his college sweetheart (charged with vehicular homicide) a couple of years later, I knew that I was obligated to address the issue and started my quest to do so via this publication,” Gibson said.
With the release of this book, Gibson aims to educate, inform and inspire survivors using real-world truths ranging from stories of intimate partner violence survivors, mental and behavioral health signifiers and the influences of culture and reality television.
“Intimate partner violence (IPV) is more prevalent with our children, adolescents, K-12 and young adult college-age students more than society is aware,” Gibson said. “Over the past 16 years, I have had an opportunity to interact with students from all walks of life and realized after this direct experience that the stories that I hear could easily result in the same tragedy that my son’s friend succumbed to.
“You can’t give what you don’t have and you can’t teach what you don’t know but I can assure you that love does not hurt,” Gibson added.
Domestic violence is prevalent. Exposure and education of this issue is needed. Promoting initiatives that address public health issues is a start to making a difference. The book shares research about what IPV entails and what to be aware of.
“I really wish people would be as concerned and willing to make a change over the public health issues,” said FAMU alumni Lamar Lane. “My longest relationship of four years was abusive. My best advice is know what abuse is and do not be afraid to speak about it or seek help.”
Gibson advises students: “Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up, not destroy your dreams and aspirations and make deposits into your wellbeing instead of withdrawals.”
Gibson said she plans to write a follow up book titled: “Intimate Partner Violence and the Modern Day Church: Get Out of the Boat (A Unique lesson in Culture, Values and Ethics).”