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Real Talk: Domestic Violence Should Never Be Tolerated

Josie Harris, the mother of Floyd Mayweather's children, says "Sh*t happens" in response to Mayweather attacking her.

Back in September 2010, Josie Harris (inset), the mother of three of boxer Floyd Mayweather’s children, filed a restraining order against and accused him of breaking into her home, attacking her by pulling her hair, throwing her to the floor in her living room and punching her in the head as two of the pair’s three children watched. Mayweather also threatened to kill Harris and her boyfriend. That December, Mayweather pled guilty to a charge of felony battery and pled no contest to two counts of harassment. He was sentenced to six months in jail with half the term suspended. (He served two months.)

Harris has been quiet about what took place between her and her ex — until now. Over the weekend, she spoke to TMZ about her relationship with her ex, now engaged, and the incident that landed him in jail.

“[Floyd] loves his kids and is a great father,” Harris said. “He would never do anything like that again… I’m sorry the situation happened… now we will just progress and start over and move forward together.”

She added, “S**t happens. I’m not mad at him at all… I love Floyd to death.”

Harris is entitled to feel anyway she wants about her ex. I applaud her noble ability to forgive him, release any anger she may have felt, and move on with the job of co-parenting. I’m not even mad that she loves him — the heart feels what it does. But I am taken aback by her calling him a “great father” and her seemingly cavalier dismissal the brutal incident that took place in front of their children. Great fathers don’t beat the mother of their children, and especially not in front of the children.

Harris’ “Sh** happens” outlook is the appropriate attitude for minor mishaps like when you leave the house without your keys, you get to the theatre and your show is sold out, or you’re usually reliable significant other arrives late for a meet-up. Not for when your ex breaks in the house and threatens to kill you.

Domestic violence is a common crime, especially in our community. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that African-American women experience domestic violence at a rate 35% higher than Caucasian women. Because it may be prevalent does not mean it should be accepted or tolerated.

Harris may not know those stats, but she knows domestic violence isn’t something to brush off. She summoned the courage to call the police on her ex and have him prosecuted for his crime against her. Harris surely isn’t auditioning to be a domestic violence spokeswoman, even though she has moved on, I do wish that she had conveyed the gravity of what Mayweather did instead of downplaying its seriousness.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk