I’m dedicating this blog to my nieces, and in honor of the late Kenneka Jenkins. Rest in peace babygirl!
For the past week plus, I have experienced the many emotions from being disgusted, devastated, angry, and even confused by the story of Kenneka Jenkins
If you haven’t heard, she’s a 19 year old young woman, daughter, and supposedly friend. Kenneka was found dead in a freezer at the Rosemont Crowne Plaza Hotel Sunday, September 10.
Rumor has it that Kenneka was set up by her friends…she was raped then later allegedly walked into a freezer to die. There has been Snapchat screen shots stating that the guy who allegedly planned to rape her set it up out of spite of previously being rejected. Then later the theories were made that there was a suspicious security guard, and that the hotel owner is known for selling body organs… [Inserts face palm] How much of this is truth? Only God knows.
My purpose for writing this blog today is not to present a theory for Kenneka’s death, but to educate and empower the youth that follows behind me.
From youth it has been my greatest fear to get raped. When I was younger, I had someone close to home threaten to rape me. When I spoke up about it, the matter was ignored. From there I made it my business to always be aware of my surroundings and to be careful of the company I keep. Below I’ll share my few words of advice, and tips for the young & restless who just want to have fun!
- Understand that you don’t have to accept every invitation sent to you. If you learn/practice at a young age to be selective about the crowd you hang with, or even the environments that you go in, you will get really far. If you have a spiritual relationship with God, start a weekly prayer asking God to give you a spirit of discernment when hanging with certain crowds, and going in different environments. Its so easy to simply just be a the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Trust your instincts, even if..you’re known to be overly paranoid. Unfortunately after high school, I was separated by long distance from all of my close/best friends. So whenever I went out to a club/party, no matter how near or far, I let my friends know. If I ever felt uneasy about an environment or situation my friends would get a text update of what’s going on at a party, and wouldn’t go to sleep until they knew I was home. This may sound crazy to some but those who have real friends know what I’m talking about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used the line, “Call me now” or “If I don’t call you in 10 minutes you call me”. Always let someone away from you know where you are located at all times.
- If you are not strong-minded enough to SAY NO to alcohol and stand your ground [Know yourself and don’t take this personal. Being strong-minded comes with growth and takes a little longer for some & that’s completely fine.] when out at a party or even inside getty, “pour your own poison”. I’ve gotten past peer pressure at so many parties by voluntarily pouring my own drink. The moment you show that you don’t want to drink, is the moment you become a target for peer pressure. Also, the best part about pouring your own drink is you can pour as little or as much as YOU know you can handle. Not to mention its better to have a cup that only your hands has made to avoid having anything unknown slipped into your drink.
- Keep your drink in your hand, and beware of your surroundings. I have an Uncle that sadly I don’t know well, because during his youth, he attended a party where someone put bad drugs in his drink, and he’s been paralyzed since. So fellas reading this, watch your drinks too. Sometimes having drugs slipped into your drink isn’t all about date rape. Sometimes its jealousy, evilness, or someone wanting to see you act a fool.
- Don’t be anyone’s puppet or source of entertainment. I learned this quickly. I’m a dancer and I loved to dance, this sometimes made me the life of the party. But I had to recognize when friends celebrated me in being goofy and carefree verses me being a puppet or source of entertainment [embarrassment] for someone’s Snapchat or Facebook Live. You have to recognized the difference between those that laughing with you and those that are laughing at you.
- Be selective with who you drink with. Again trust your instincts, you have to know those you can trust at your most vulnerable and slurred moments. When you are intoxicated, whether its from drinking, popping pills, smoking weed, or whatever craziness you do, its the perfect time for anyone to take advantage of you. It’s too often that I’ve been out and seen drunk people walking around alone and lost that came out with “friends”. Or even worse waking up the next morning and not knowing what happened or who did it.
- Learn how to enjoy yourself soberly. Know that there is nothing wrong or unexciting about being in complete control over you. I have lived some of my best days and even had the chance to crowd surf over a crowd of 300+ SOBER. It’s all in your head, you don’t need a drink to have a great time.
- Be the designated driver, or better yet drive yourself. If you know you have friends that are a bit more risky, be the designated driver. Risky can be the friend that likes to leave home with dudes, the friend you have to pick up off the floor from being too drunk, or even the friend that’s always ready to fight [Lawd forgive them, for they know not what they do]. I know nobody wants to play Mom or Pop when out with you’re friends, but if you know you can handle life more then those in your crew, sometimes its best to be the overseer to keep everyone out of trouble. I mean, I’d rather be the natural high DD, than the drunk friend trying to explain to my friends’ parents how some crazy tragedy took place.
- Never go out alone, and stay in a pack. There is so much I can say about this one…but most importantly, it’s always great to have an accountability partner, and for the sake of fun a turn up partner of as well.
I know all of this may seem a bit motherly, and that it sucks out the fun, but its better to be safe than to be sorry. It’s better to have a bit of elderly [pshhh I’m 24] advice that take on life naively.
I hope you enjoy this, and if you have a younger sibling, cousin, or a friend who could benefit from this, be sure to share!
XOXO – Passionate Woman
“Turning Negatives Into Positives…One Blog at a Time” – Passionate Woman