Magazine article Essence

Getting Real about Domestic Violence

Magazine article Essence

Getting Real about Domestic Violence

Article excerpt

WRITER AND ACTIVIST JORDYNE BLAISE EXAMINES THE ROLE WE PLAY IN ABETTING RELATIONSHIP ABUSE AND WHAT WE CAN DO TO STOP IT

It's been said that you never forget your first time. Not only have I not forgotten my first time investigating an allegation of intimate partner violence, but I've also thought about that instance before every survivor interview I've conducted since. Getting a young woman to talk about what is likely one of the saddest and most frightening moments of her life requires a special combination of tenderness, objectivity and patience. As an investigator, I aim to get to the truth. As an activist, I want people to understand that no one has the right to anyone else's body without consent. And as a woman, I yearn to protect. Yet I've had to accept that I will not always be able to accomplish all of those objectives.

In 2010, more than one in three women reported experiencing relationship violence and nearly 70 percent of those reporting experienced these behaviors under the age of 25, reveals the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. African-American women are not only disproportionately affected by relationship violence, we are also more likely to die from it. Homicidal domestic violence is one of the leading causes of death among Black women between the ages of 15 and 35, according to statistics.

For many Black women, the ability to leave an abusive partner is complicated by the effects of poverty and discrimination, as well as religious and cultural beliefs. These realities are compounded by the fact that nearly half of Black women killed by an intimate partner die while attempting to leave, according to the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community. What's more, studies show that Black women are often socialized to forgo their personal well-being for the sake of the family unit. Reporting an abuser can seem like a betrayal, considering the mass incarceration of Black men. It is easy, then, to imagine why Janay Rice longed for privacy after the release of a video showing her being attacked by her then fiancé, now husband. Ray Rice.

As we combat gun violence experienced by Black men, there is a noticeable absence of Black women from discussions about how these issues impact us directly. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.