Intimate Partner Violence, Legal Systems and Barriers for African American Women

From a sample size of 185 African American women, results underscore the critical role of hopelessness as a barrier to accessing services for African American Intimate Partner Violence survivors, especially those with prior involvement with the legal system. them

Why You Might Read This Article: While gun violence is top of mind, we cannot forget the plague of Intimate Partner Violence, poses among Black women. According to the 2010-2012 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nationally, 45% of Black women experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. According to the 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately 41% of Black women have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime compared to 31% of White women, 30% of Hispanic women and 15% of Asian or Pacific Islander women (Breiding, 2014). 

Although many African American IPV survivors need services, they often do not access care. They give up on a system that often does not respond to their need for services or protection. Recommendations are offered in this article that underscore the importance of interventions that empower African American women who have survived violence instead of penalizing them.

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