Why Is Violence Against Black Women Dismissed Or Ignored

Violence Does Not Discriminate So Neither Should Justice

Photo Credit: Emmy Vesta

| August 31 2017,

12:08 am

"According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 1.3 million American women experience DV/IPV each year. Women make up 85 per cent of the victims of DV/IPV. Despite this, most cases are never reported to the police and most women are victimized by people they know. And for black women, it's an even bigger problem: black women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of DV/IPV than white women. And while black women only make up eight per cent of the population," Jones continues, "Twenty-two per cent of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to black women and 29 per cent of all victimized women, making it one of the leading causes of death for black women ages 15 to 35. Statistically, we experience sexual assault and DV/IPV at disproportionate rates and have the highest rates of intra-racial violence against us than any other group. We are also less likely to report or seek help when we are victimized."'

As a domestic violence survivor and an activist against domestic and sexual abuse against women, I can state without prejudice that women of color do report. However, often they are ostracized for being victims, or simply dismissed when they come forward. One explanation used to explain why violence against black women is overlooked or dismissed at least in America is because they are often stereotyped as loud, opinionated, angry "drama queens." As a result, law enforcement and officials have "difficulty" being empathetic or deciphering whether the reports that black women make are worth looking into.

Sadly, countless black women around the world who report domestic violence claims are often treated like their lives do not matter, such as in the case of Tyvitta Dischler, who was killed two weeks after being denied a restraining order against her husband, James Hutchins. Tyvitta went to the police and the courts for assistance; however, her cries for help were silenced both by the system and the man who killed her.

Susan Shabangu

  1. If by some chance you are reading this article, and you or someone you know is being abused please do not fear going to a friend, a neighbour or a family member and talk to them about what is happening.If they won't listen find someone who will and ask for their help
  2. Distance yourself from your abuser! Get as far away from them as you can. Run! Do not walk.
  3. Get involved in your community by advocating for social service and justice reform.
  4. Vote to have more law and governmental officials like Susan Shabangu, receive training in domestic violence and racial and ethnic sensitivity training.