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Vixen Vent: Protecting Your Child...Who's In Your House?

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Last week, Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, suffered the tragic loss of his two year old son, whose death is believed to be the result of alleged abuse from his mother's boyfriend. Many people have questioned Peterson’s closeness to his child (not much is known of their relationship prior to his death) when he chose to play in the Vikings game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, a mere two days after the child’s death. In my experience working homicide cases, everyone deals with grief differently. Some people who suffer a major loss, especially men, choose to keep busy to avoid the horrible pain of a loss. Peterson confirmed this in several interviews, where he stated that playing football has helped him cope with tragedies in his life.

Now we need to focus on the facts behind the death of the infant. The mother's boyfriend, Joseph Patterson, has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in their home state of South Dakota. These charges were based on the severe head injuries that sent the young infant to the hospital. Patterson allegedly hit the infant in the head with a steel rod. It is likely that if a link to the injuries and the death can be medically established, the charges will be elevated to include murder.

Tragedies like these can be avoided. Single parents (both male and female) need to take a long hard look at who they are dating and be realistic. They may not be stepparent material no matter how much you love someone. First, be observant. If the person you are with shows any resentment or violence towards your child, it is a simple choice. By bringing a child into this world, you are responsible for his/her well-being. That person has to go. If you allow your partner to discipline your child, make sure you are on the same page about what is acceptable and what is not.

Photo Credit: krnb.com

Secondly, do a background check when you start dating someone new and certainly before you move the person under the same roof as you and your child. Entering someone's name into search engines such as Google and Bing can give you a wealth of information. There are also paid websites which can give you the prior criminal history of a person. It can be a worthwhile investment for peace of mind.

Also, listen to trusted friends and family. If they are giving you solid reasons as to why they don't like your potential partner, please consider this. They may see things that are disturbing; emotions can blind us to the negative traits of a new love interest.

Lastly, look at your child.  Does your child’s behavior change when your partner is in the room? Are there any strange bruises? These are all critical signs that something may be very wrong.

When you date as a parent, this is a package deal. It’s not just about you anymore.  Your partner needs to love you AND your child. Ignoring the signs and making poor decisions about who has access to your child can result in pain for everyone involved.

Be vigilant. Your child is depending on you.

 

Melba Pearson is an attorney, writer, speaker, wife and Resident Legal Diva.

 

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Ava DuVernay And Theaster Gates To Lead Diversity Council For Prada

Major luxury brands like Prada and Gucci have been under fire since releasing luxury items with racial undertones. Sparking controversy that is not easily repaired with public apologies, Prada has announced a Diversity and Inclusion Council lead by director Ava DuVernay and social practice installation artist Theaster Gates.

Gates and DuVernay, who have used their art in social justice missions will join " Prada’s initiative to elevate voices of color within the company and the fashion industry at-large.” The pair will also help the brand provide the opportunity for designers of color to obtain internships and apprenticeships that are inclusive of diverse communities.

In a statement to WWD, Miuccia Prada, Prada’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lead Creative Director stated explained the brand's willingness to learn from their own mistakes while actively including creative of color in the company.

“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the company, Prada said. "In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live, and we are thrilled to be working with long-time collaborators, Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates, on this important initiative. We look forward to working with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council to help us grow not only as a company but also as individuals.”

The Diversity Council will work alongside the company's Social Responsibility department to recommend strategic approaches within the next few months.

 

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Solitary Alignment: 5 Self-Affirming Reads For Single Ladies On Valentine’s Day

Ahh, the Feast of Saint Valentine—the Hallmark holiday that strikes us with its arrow each year, for better or for worse, depending on your bae status. While the romantic holiday is adored and celebrated by many, if you’re still reeling over, say, your ex’s refusal to commit, chances are Feb. 14 is more of a heartache for you than anything.

But as a wise woman once said, “If they liked it then they should’ve put a ring on it.” So whether V-Day has you scared of lonely or sulking over a lost love, as another wise woman once said, they “would be SUPER lucky to even set eyes on you this Valentine’s Day. That’s it. That’s the gift.” Shout out to The Slumflower.

Sure, having a bae on Valentine’s Day is cool, but so is reminding yourself why you’re just fine without one (cue Webbie’s “Independent”). In fact, single folks have better relationships overall, according to the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. You know how the old adage goes: love yourself before loving someone else.

For this Valentine’s Day, VIBE Vixen rounds up a nourishing list of books for our sisters doin’ it for themselves. Consider this your reminder of how badass you are—because you are! Oh, oh, oh. *Beyoncé voice*

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Tune in to Boomerang on BET every Tuesday at 10/9c to see if this nice guy will ever finish first.

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