the face of domestic violence

popular model and blogger danii phae bravely shared images of her alleged abuse by ex-boyfriend j$tash.  in a tumblr post, she described him as someone who abused her “verbally, mentally and emotionally.”  according to danii he became physically violent on september 15th after she confronted him regarding his infidelity.

my heart goes out to this young sister who is facing such a difficult struggle.  her courage is beyond commendable, especially because her popularity gives her every reason to hide her abuse.  instead, she’s using the very platform that helped make her famous, the internet, to empower others and “speak up against domestic violence for those who can’t due to the manipulative acts [their] abusers inflict.”

i shouldn’t be shocked that many of the comments people are making on black gossip sites about the story don’t involve empathy, but instead offer examples of violent women who shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the “boys don’t hit girls” rule. this entire line of reasoning is misplaced and problematic because it doesn’t actually address the facts that danii alleges. instead of dealing with the image she describes of a man repeatedly hitting a woman in the face until she lays unconscious in a pool of blood, people quickly developed a scene out of a tyler perry movie where a crazed danii phae must have scratched, clawed, destroyed furniture or thrown hot grits on her ex-boyfriend to deserve being physically abused. it’s now her burden to prove she didn’t act in a way that would have warranted her physical punishment.

the type of victim blaming just described is among the many drivers of domestic violence in the black community.  stereotyped as having bad tempers and emasculating our men, it’s easy for black women to be the presumed aggressors in instances of domestic violence, even when facts don’t point in that direction. instead of holding men accountable, we spend time talking about how ray rice was punished too severely and rhianna’s temper pushed chris brown over the edge.  without more accountability,  examples like danii’s won’t be taken seriously.

j$tash has denied her account of the story, but refused to make extensive comments due to pending legal action.


  1. I appreciate your compassionate coverage of this story. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship and am still working through many of the after effects. This is an issue that is extremely overlooked and misrepresented in our community.


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