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Women of Color, the Pressure Not to Report, and Sisterhood  

Author:  Kandis  Wood.

Source: Volume 17, Number 04, April/May 2012 , pp.49-52(4)

Domestic Violence Report

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The numbers are frightening. Almost five in every 1,000 black women over 12 years old are victims of domestic violence, and among those abused ages 15 to 34, murder by a husband or an intimate partner is the leading cause of death. Studies from the past decade have shown that black females experience intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. In fact, statistics reveal that the number one killer of black women ages 15 to 34 is intimate partner homicide. The decision to report an incident of gender violence to the police is difficult for any victim. But for black female victims, there may be another factor contributing to a reluctance to report abusers: pressure to “protect” black men from white society. More specifically, black female victims may not report abuse to authorities in an effort to “save their men” from a place where too many black men are sent: prison. This article discusses the ramifications of this phenomenon, and offers a recommendation for an organization to be called SisterHood.

Keywords: fear of bringing negative stigma to black community; black men as endangered species; Devon Carbado

Affiliations:  1: Harvard Law School.

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