Battle Cries: Black Women and Intimate Partner Abuse

By Hillary Potter | Go to book overview

8
Conclusion

The Response

During my time spent with Billie, her daughter, Nia, was present throughout the entire interview. Nia was generally quiet during the three-hour discussion but did interject periodically. Even though she knew much of her mother's story—and lived some of it—I was aware that some of Billie's recounting was new to Nia and that it caused Nia some pain to listen to her mother's distressing tales. Cassandra was also accompanied by a family member. Cassandra told me she brought along her younger sister (by 15 years) because she wanted her sister to finally learn about her extremely volatile relationships with her first husband and a boyfriend. But, unlike Nia, Cassandra's sister never spoke during the interview and left about a third of the way into the four-hour encounter, as it was a lot for the sister to take in. A good number of the remaining women wished to share the detrimental effects of intimate partner abuse, as well. They wished for other Black women and Black girls to learn from their experiences. A couple of hours into Billie's interview, Nia asked with curiosity: “Can I ask you a question, Hillary? What are you doing with these stories people tell you?” Aside from the academic explanation of “analyzing the data for similarities and themes,” I shared with Nia that I had a broader, yet firm, goal: to communicate to the Black community and society-atlarge that we must address the problem of intimate partner abuse against Black women.

Addressing this problem will allow us to draw attention to Black women's contribution to and role in society in general and to the many struggles in addition to intimate partner abuse that Black women face on a daily basis. Now that we have an even greater understanding of Black women's experiences with intimate partner abuse, how are we to confront the abuse and the way in which others respond to abuse against Black women?

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