October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a serious issue and threat to the safety of women everywhere. Some women are much more likely to experience it more so than other women while others succumb under the pressure of hiding their scars and pain from the public eye. While there has been women of all races have been through domestic violence, domestic violence continues to be a problem uniquely affecting Black women everywhere.
Unfortunately, studies show that one in four women will experience domestic violence sometime in their lives. Every fourteen hours, a woman is strike by their significant other or ex spouse or boyfriend. Nearly 30% of Black women experience domestic violence in their relationships. Studies have shown that Black women experience rates of domestic violence at higher rates than any other group of women. According to the Violence Policy Center, Black women are three times more likely to die at the hands of an intimate partner than other groups of women. 94% of these women knew their men who murdered them. 64% of these women, who knew their murderers, were girlfriends, wives and significant others of these men. Most of these women were killed by an assassin’s bullet. Worst of all, Black women make up 22% of the deaths of women who die from inter partner domestic violence and 29% of victimized women.
Why are Black women disproportionately affected by domestic violence?
Socioeconomic conditions and culture plays a role in this. Though domestic violence can happen at any income level, race, class and ethnicity, women from lower income backgrounds are more likely to experience domestic violence. Socioeconomic factors play a role in influencing the behaviors and minds of others. Many men become frustrated and fatigued at their low paying jobs and lack of systematic help that they take it out on those closer to them. Often times, these men and others take out their frustrations on their wives and girlfriends thus enabling the rates of domestic violence against women. There are male victims of domestic violence out there but women make up the majority of domestic violence victims.
Often times, Black women tend to be from lower income backgrounds. Many of them are often the bread winners of their families or taking care of relatives. Much of this predicament has led to the average network of $5 for Black women because much of their money and resources is going into taking care of someone else. Institutionalized racism and generational poverty plays a role in the state of poverty that many Black women are in. Many policies were put in place that benefited the White, middle class while leaving minorities particularly Black people in the cold. Though much progress has been made in racial equality due to the Civil Rights Movement, Black women are paid less than their male counterparts and White people. Plus living in lower income areas puts a woman at risk for constant street harassment, emotional and verbal abuse and interactions with violent segments of society, which all of which many Black women go through.
What is being done to help Black female(female victims in general) victim of domestic violence?
Organizations such as National Coalition Against Domestic Violence help victims of domestic violence by referring them to other organizations that help deal with the ramifications of being in a domestic abuse situation. There are other organizations such as National Domestic Violence Hotline that actively help domestic violence victims. These organizations provide the resources for women to cope with or even leave such situations. Though participating in these organizations isn’t a guarantee that a woman’s live will get better, the availability of such organizations does give women some hope that there is a solution to the problems that they are facing.
Most of all, domestic violence is a terrifying situation for any woman to find herself in. Women of any race, class, class and socioeconomic background can find herself in such situations but Black women are the most vulnerable to fall predicament to such situations. More solutions and resources should be allocated and made available for women to avoid facing domestic violence in a relationship. Hence the implication that a woman’s racial, class and socioeconomic plays a role the likelihood that a woman will experience domestic violence.
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