Every time I see a black woman I think about my mother and everything amazing she did to ensure I had a successful life. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to write this important article. As the popular saying goes, she was the epitome of “black girl magic.” She also isn’t much different from millions of other amazing black women who have been the backbone of their families. But if black women are so magic, then how come we aren’t protecting them?
Violence against black women is a growing epidemic, with spikes happening all over the country. Black women are constantly in the crosshairs of physical and mental abuse, usually by someone who claims to love them.
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In a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than 4 in 10 black women experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes.
The study also found that more than 20% of black women are raped during their lifetimes – that’s more than any other ethnic group combined. Black women also struggle with psychological abuse at significantly higher rates when compared to their white counterparts.
According to the Violence Policy Center, black women were also three times more likely to be murdered in domestic abuse situations and 90% of black female victims know their killers.
In Norfolk, Virginia, the domestic violence against black women has seen such an uptick that many are sounding an alarm of panic. The Samaritan House Domestic Violence center in Virginia Beach told WTKR that the city has seen a spike in local domestic violence and it is very alarming.
“Women of color are killed at a more disproportionate rate than any other race,” said the executive director of Samaritan House in an interview with WTKR. “It’s a disturbing trend we are seeing.”
According to the CDC, domestic violence is one of the leading causes of death for black women between the ages of 15-35.
These disturbing statistics point directly to the failures of black men and it’s disappointing. Society programs black men to be the protectors and providers, but instead many chose to be the predator. Protecting black women should be the priority for every black man in that woman’s life. Protecting her means saving children, revitalizing black family structures, and strengthening the black community overall.
No black men aren’t completely to blame – their American experience is multi-layered, marginalized, and hard to explain. But no one can understand it better than black women, that’s why she deserves our protection at all costs. So goes the black woman goes the black man. We are intertwined in success and failure. When we look at her, we need to only see love, then we need to pour that love into her like there is no tomorrow.