Our House, Inc.

V oices A gainst I nterpersonal V iolence
S peak out* T each* E ducate* P rotect* S erve
Issue 23 - July 2020 Newsletter
Independence Day

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.

President John Adams  had written to his wife  Abigail :
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. [7]

Independence Day  fireworks  are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the  national anthem , " The Star-Spangled Banner "; " God Bless America "; " America the Beautiful "; " My Country, 'Tis of Thee "; " This Land Is Your Land "; " Stars and Stripes Forever "; and, regionally, " Yankee Doodle " in northeastern states and " Dixie " in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the  Revolutionary War  or the  War of 1812 .

...In 1852,  Frederick Douglass  gave a speech now called " What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? ", at a time when slavery was still legal in Southern states, and free African-Americans elsewhere still faced discrimination and brutality. Douglass found the celebration of "justice, liberty, prosperity and independence" offensive to enslaved people who had none of those things. The Declaration of Independence famously asserts that " all men are created equal , but commentator Arielle Gray recommends that those celebrating the holiday consider how the freedom promised by the phrase " Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness " was not granted to African Americans denied citizenship and equal protection before the  Fourteen Amendment , immigrants denied admission under the  Chinese Exclusion Act Japanese Americans interned during World War II , and children detained under the  current administration family separation policy .

... Juneteenth  - An American holiday on June 19 commemorating the end of slavery

All of the above history was taken directly from:
This month featured community program:
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services
NMRLS Highlights of Oral History Project

This video is a short compilation of highlights from the North Mississippi Rural Legal Services Oral History Project of 2019.

Read more
NMRLS provides attorney representation and advocacy to ensure equal access to Justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Mission Statement
Through constant training, self-analysis and community involvement, the mission of NMRLS is to provide to eligible people the highest quality of legal and technical assistance, which improves the daily quality of life, while contributing to the attainment of social, economic and legal equality.

Service Area
NMRLS currently services its 253,540 eligible low income population (based on 2011 American Community Survey 3-Year estimate and other sources) in the North Mississippi 39-county area with an administrative office and four (4) branch offices located in Oxford, West Point, Clarksdale and Greenville.

Through constant training, self analysis, and community involvement, we provide to eligible people, the highest quality of legal and technical assistance, which improves the daily quality of life, while contributing to the attainment of social, economic, and legal equality.

Note from Our House, Inc.
NMRLS has been a community partner of ours for over 25 years, providing legal services for our survivors of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking. We have been honored to have them as one of our legal team advocates. - Ms. Doris Lee, Victim Service Specialist.
Message from our Executive Director
July is the month to celebrate the freedom of all Americans. But, are we all really free? I use my voice to question this celebration on behalf of victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Victims are  not FREE  from the bondage of power and control in their lives. Until everyone can be free from harm and violence, again I ask, are all really FREE?

It is disheartening to hearing the government say there is limited or no funding to assist cases related to child abuse, teen dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and human trafficking.  It appears that the first funding to go is education and then victim services. To their defense, there are a few local units of government who “gets it” and have financially invested in the movement to end interpersonal violence in their own community...hearing the cries (spoken and unspoken) of victims.

 There is a great need to work with grass root organizations to address putting an end to personal violence against another.

In the rural Mississippi Delta, black victims of interpersonal violence are disproportionately much higher than their counterparts. Is it because Blacks are more violent to their partner or significant other? NO, this is false. Is it because Blacks do not utilize local resources? NO, this is also false. One of the problems is that there are few available resources for Black survivors. Statistically speaking, critics can manipulate data to support their own opinion on who needs services.

What is true, is that BLACKS heal from interpersonal violence differently than other races. Blacks heal through dance, song, spiritual guidance, and conversations. Many say that all victims heal the same. Not true. For Blacks, healing can occur by a whisper of hope from another black survivor who knows that not only will interpersonal violence happen; but, so does racism when they attempt to seek adequate resources.

The "look" that some service providers and law enforcement personnel reportedly give a Black victim heightens the victim's sense of shame and self-worth. For example, murmuring things like, "Oh she is just going to go back” and “We need to give this resource to someone else." These comments demonstrate a lack of understanding the trauma that a victim suffer daily.

It is degrading when a black sexual assault victim goes into the hospital for treatment and has to wait 60-75% times longer than other races. Many Black survivors have said that medical staff look at them as if they are too dirty to touch or think that they don’t need compassion because of their history of facing struggles. Victimization is never the fault of the survivor, no matter their race.

In the last few weeks, a combination of the stay-at-home mandate due to COVID-19 outbreak and the racial upraising for equal justice have left me questioning my role in society. I am persuaded that my primary role in life is to minister to those who have lost their way, been hurt by others or just need a loving heart to help them get through 2020. My faith has also gotten stronger during this period of turmoil ... for I know Who is in charge of my Life and destiny!

To be clear, I am here for all survivors and do not discriminate. I concentrate more on African American survivors, because I understand their need for culturally specific help, support, and intervention. I hear the unique cries of the wounded and I cry with them with hope until healing occurs. Until everyone can be free from harm and violence, all are not FREE.

Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport
Executive Director
Our House, Inc.
662-336-1129 (mobile)
I can't breathe!
(Below are 2 videos reflecting on racism in America.)

Resource Links

Domestic Violence



National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Nationwide Voices from Victim Service Advocates addressing the current status of racial upraising for change
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services

Our House, Inc.

RAINN-Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

Resource Sharing Project for Rural Communities

Sexual Assault Resources

UjIma, The National Center Violence Against Women in the Black Community

Will2Change (Click below to learn more)

Woman of Color Network
SPECIAL NOTE : We do not endorse the purchasing of any items. We are ONLY sharing information that may be useful to survivors and advocates.
Highlighted below is a new resource that provides services to African American survivors!
Will 2 Change |

Here's how we're helping to change our community. The Will 2 Change exists to explore various topics related to intimate partner violence in the African American and African Communities. We want to expand and respond to ideas about how to engage...

Read more
COVID-19 is serious!
Please wear a mask,
wash your hands
and stay 6 feet away from others.
Mississippi Safe Return Order Extended
After record-breaking daily reports of COVID-19 cases, Governor Reeves extended the Safe Return order to help protect Mississippians and limit transmission. Executive Order 1505 extends the social distancing guidelines and restrictions under the Safe Return order until 8 a.m. on Monday, July 20th. Health officials believe the extension will allow more time to evaluate our state's response to the virus and adapt accordingly. Some of the strict social distancing guidelines in the Safe Return order include the following:
  • All those in the vulnerable population are strongly encouraged to continue sheltering in place to protect their health.
  • This includes all elderly individuals (age 65 or older per CDC guidelines) and individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune systems are compromised as such by chemotherapy for cancer or any other condition requiring such therapy.
  • For large group gatherings when social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors.
  • For large groups gatherings when social distancing is possible, groups are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.
  • All travel may resume, while minimizing non-essential business travel when possible. 
The Safe Return order will remain in effect until Monday, July 20, at 8:00 AM.
Our House, Inc.
New Birth to Violence Free Living

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 3956
Greenville, MS 38704

Email Address: ourhouse@ourhousenewbirth.com

Website: ourhousevoices.com

Office Phone: 662-334-6873
Crisis Helpline: 662-332-5683
Toll Free Helpline: 1-833-279-5683
Our Vision Statement
A world without interpersonal violence.

Our Mission Statement
To lead, empower and inspire change by eliminating domestic violence and sexual violence through intervention, prevention, prosecution, victim protection and sustainable restoration in rural communities; and, to enhance the lives of survivors of interpersonal violence by providing services that meet the psychological, spiritual and cultural needs of those we serve.

We are proud to acknowledge that Our House, Inc. is the only fully culturally specific agency in the state of Mississippi that addresses domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and dating violence within the African American community.