The Intersectionality of Intimate Partner Violence in the Black Community

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Book Chapter


To adequately address intimate partner violence in the black community in the USA, it is imperative to discuss historical oppression and examine how intersecting realities influence intimate partner/gender-based violence and individual, community, and systemic responses. Institutionalized and internalized oppression through racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, religious subjugation, etc., perpetuates unrecognized, unaddressed, and denied traumatic experiences for black survivors. One of the leading causes of death for black women aged 15–35 is intimate partner violence. Black women are almost three times more likely than white women to be killed by an intimate partner. This chapter will explore why culturally specific, trauma-informed practices are essential for holistic responses. For a black survivor, oppression, implicit/explicit bias, and racial loyalty/collectivism directly impact how female survivors perceive, react to, and report intimate partner violence. Racism and stereotypes continue to contribute to the failure of the legal systems, crisis services, and other programs to provide adequate resources and assistance to black survivors. Survivors who are foreign-born Africans, Afro Caribbeans, and Afro Latinas experience limited access to services in their first languages and/or limited interpreters who speak the native language, fear of interacting with systems and deportation, and little cultural understanding and empathy from service providers. We will provide promising practices, guiding principles, and culturally specific resources to illuminate the opportunities that exist to support the resiliency, autonomy, and self-determination of black survivors.

Publication Title

Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan

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Open Access Status


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