intimacy and violence

I could not stop listening to the news over the weekend, hoping that Julian King, son of Julia and nephew of Jennifer Hudson would turn up. I’m not sure anyone could be untouched by the tragic and senseless murders of a mother, a brother, and a child.

While the case is still inconclusive, the crime’s presumable connection to “domestic violence” is a terrible reminder that many people–especially women–are murdered by people they know. While some are trying to make the Hudson tragedy a “black” issue or a consequence of living and dating “in the ghetto,” intimate violence does not discriminate on the basis of color or class. To be sure, working class women may live in higher crime areas in general and may also have less access to counseling and police protection but unfortunately intimacy and violence are all-too-common bedfellows. If you just Google the cases of, mostly men, murdering their estranged wives and sometimes their children and other relatives too, you’ll find quite a motley crew.

Will the high-profile nature of this case increase awareness? I’m not sure. But I do know that women and men must continue to form coalitions against violence in all of our families and neighborhoods. If there is any defense against such inscrutable crimes, it will have to be a collective effort.


About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

2 responses to “intimacy and violence

  1. Hello there,It is very sad that some of our sistas DO NOT understand that the tragedy is not choosing to love…the tragedy is choosing DYSFUNCTIONAL MEN.What a horrible, sad, tragic story….but although one of the family members THIS time is a celebrity and Oscar-winner….THIS STORY keeps showing up in print in papers all over the country on a daily basis: Black families dealing with the aftermath of murder.In this case, it seems that perhaps there was a mentally or emotionally ill person who had access to the family, who regularly caused mayhem for the family and was never viewed by the family as a possible murderer… far too many black folks DO NOT think mentally ill people are dangerous for reasons I can not understand.Why do we continue saying “he’s tripping!” and “she’s tripping!” instead of naming the behavior what it is: UNTREATED mental and emotional illness!How many more relatives have to show up in tears and NOT even realize that their complacency in addressing mental dysfunction in their own homes and families is part of the tragedy?As we pray for this family, let us pray for ALL OF THE FAMILIES whose tragedies do not have the national spotlight but whose pain and sorrow is not any less.Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!Lisa

  2. Thanks Lisa,You’re absolutely right. It’s never a bad choice to love. Some women do not love ourselves enough to make wiser choices in mates and even when we do sometimes we don’t realize that “bad tempers” and “jealousy” can escalate into violence and murder. I do hope the high profile nature of this case will remind us that these acts happen way too often without any attention at all.

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