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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Life in the Margins: Expanding Intimate Partner Violence Services for Women of Color by Using Data as Evidence

General Material
Published Date
June, 2017

The burden of violence on women of color is staggering. Across racially, ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse women of color communities, violence and disproportionate homicide rates persist. Studies have shown that women of color face more, and more severe domestic violence. Black women are more likely than white women to be murdered by a partner.  Approximately 4 out of every 10 non-Hispanic Black women, 4 out of every 10 American Indian or Alaska Native women, and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women (53.8%) have been the victim of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.  

In 2014, WOCN Inc. saw an opportunity to enhance understanding of the particular experiences of women of color by using a culturally-specific lens to reexamine data on domestic violence homicide rates (provided by the Violence Policy Center) and data on help-seeking patterns of women of color (provided by the National Domestic Violence Hotline).  This TA Guidance summarizes the findings that emerged from these secondary data analyses and highlights recommendations to improve outreach and response.

The purpose of this analysis was to illuminate the collective, disproportionate homicide rates across and within communities of color and to intensify local, state, and national responses to intimate partner violence. This technical assistance guidance is an extension of the policy recommendations of the Hotline and homicide reports utilizing data from 2012 and 2013. It provides advocates and policy makers with insights on how to use such homicide and Hotline data to better reach and serve women of color. With this TA Guidance, Women of Color Network, Inc. seeks to begin a dialogue to develop multiple individual- and community-level interventions designed to shift cultures of gendered violence, increase safety and address survivors’ immediate and long-term needs. The data and recommendations listed in this TA Guidance may be used to:

• Advocate for funding;

• Mobilize community partners around the issues; and 

• Develop an awareness or community education campaign.

 This TA Guidance provides a broad perspective to the field that states that women of color lives matter, and that it is imperative that we reach out to the margins in order to bring the experiences of women of color to the center of our work. The lives of women of color and their communities depend on it. The Technical Assistance Guidance includes links and references to two WOCN, Inc. reports (unpublished) on the 2012 and 2013 data that serves as a snapshot to further amplify the general guidance that has been released. This report was made possible through funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Family Prevention and Services Office awarded to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence with WOCN, Inc.