Broken But Not Powerless

The first black eye came suddenly.

“I refused to buy him a shirt and he grabbed me by my necklace,” the young woman remembers.

He pulled the jewelry around her neck so tightly she could feel her skin tearing. She raised her hands to stop him from choking her, and that is when the necklace broke.

He balled up his fist and launched it at her. This action led to a gateway of frequent attacks.

Black eyes, scars, scratches and emotional trauma will never be a description of her life again, she said.

Her name is Jadore Asante, a 21-year-old, fourth-year health care management student from Clearwater Beach, Fla., and she considers herself a conqueror of domestic violence. She has chosen to take her life back and break the silence.

Asante met her abuser in high school when she was just a junior. He was the new kid with a troubled past. She quickly identified with him because they both had been raised outside the country. Their relationship got serious very quickly.

His anger issues became apparent about a year ago.

“He would let a phone call unanswered enrage him,” Asante said.

The abuse started with pushing and shoving over small things.

One of Asante’s closest friends, who asked not to be named, witnessed attacks on Asante. She would dread going places with the couple for fear of Asante’s safety.

“There was the time at the bowling alley when he attempted to choke her in front of everyone,” the friend remembers.

Angry and shocked, the friend along with a few other friends helped pull the attacker off Asante.

“I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for her. I knew she deserved a lot more respect, more than he could offer,” said the friend.

Once the abuse became frequent and makeup wasn’t enough to cover the bruises and pain, she knew enough was enough. She was drowning in misery and needed a way out. The final attack an adult stepped in, which caused the innocent Samaritan to suffer a broken nose.

“Domestic violence can happen to anyone,” said Leisa Wiseman, a spokeswoman for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“It is extremely important to seek help if you are in an abusive relationship.”

Abuse comes in all forms, not just physical,” Wiseman said. For immediate assistance with domestic violence please call 1-800-500-1119 for the 24-hour help line.

The leading killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner, according to the American Bar Association.

Asante noticed that her relationship was unsafe and it needed to end. She told her family of that her boyfriend was abusing her. Asante’s family was hurt by her secret but gave her encouragement and prayed for her.

As a result of her experience, Asante makes it her priority to help and support others who may be in the same situation by offering caring advice.

In 2010, Asante spoke up and out at, at a seminar on domestic violence on Florida A&M campus.

Although Asante is single, she is neither scarred nor damaged by her past. She looks for a strong man who have goals and ambition similar to herself. She lives her life learning from her past and looking forward to a brighter future.

She urges women in abusive relationships to leave.

“It is easier said than done but you’re worth more than being abused by any man or woman, that is not love,” said Asante