Victims from historically marginalized racial and ethnic minority communities or underserved populations often encounter additional barriers to seeking safety and receiving effective assistance. The Department of Justice (DOJ) Guidance on Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault Domestic Violence states that, “The intersection of racial and gender stereotypes and biases can also pose unique difficulties for women and LGBT individuals of color seeking police services to address sexual assault and domestic violence incidents.” (p.7) Furthermore, Principle 5 of the Guidance states, “It is important for law enforcement to know and have relationships with community-based victim advocacy organizations, including any local culturally-specific organizations or other organizations that focus on underserved or marginalized populations.” To support efforts to increase access to safety for survivors from marginalized or underserved communities, this section includes resources for both law enforcement and advocates working with survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence at these intersections.
“Understanding trauma can be complicated. For victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, trauma can stem from an isolated incident, from repeated incidents over a lifetime, or from a pattern of ongoing violence. And, this violence and trauma can be compounded by multi-generational and/or historical trauma. Exposure to “cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma experiences” such as colonization, war, or genocide, can magnify an already devastating crime. It is important for service providers to remember that because of historical trauma, many survivors of violent crime, such as those from African American, immigrant and American Indian/Alaska Native communities, are forced to confront multiple layers of traumatic experiences as they recover and heal."
Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color, Andrea Ritchie, Beacon Press, August, 2017
This book provides an examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. Placing stories of individual women—such as Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dajerria Becton, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall—in the broader context of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, it documents the evolution of movements centering women’s experiences of policing and demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.
The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) provides a wide range of free, comprehensive and individualized technical assistance, training and resource materials. The scope of NRCDV’s technical assistance is broad and includes domestic violence intervention and prevention, community education and organizing, public policy and systems advocacy, and funding. The NRCDV develops special collections, fact sheets, applied research papers, funding alerts, and training curricula, and supports several special projects designed to explore issues more deeply or develop more comprehensive assistance to a particular constituent group. These special projects include the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, VAWnet – the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence, and the DV Evidence Project and related research initiatives.
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC) is a Native nonprofit organization that was created specifically to serve as the National Indian Resource Center (NIRC) Addressing Domestic Violence and Safety for Indian Women. NIWRC seeks to enhance the capacity of American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, Native Hawaiians, and Tribal and Native Hawaiian organizations to respond to domestic violence and increase the safety of Native women. The NIWRC is dedicated to reclaiming the sovereignty of Native nations and safeguarding Native women and their children. Through public awareness and resource development, training and technical assistance, policy development, and research activities, NIWRC provides leadership across the nation to show that offenders can and will be held accountable and that Native women and their children are entitled to: 1) safety from violence within their homes and in their community; 2) justice both on and off tribal lands; and 3) access to services designed by and for Native women based on their tribal beliefs and practices.
Special Issues Resource Centers
The Battered Women’s Justice Project consists of two partnering agencies that operate in separate locations. The Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) promotes change within the civil and criminal justice systems that enhances their effectiveness in providing safety, security and justice for battered women and their families. BWJP provides technical assistance to advocates, civil attorneys, judges and court personnel, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, probation officers, batterers intervention program staff, defense attorneys and policymakers; and to victims of domestic violence and their families and friends. Through trainings and consultations, BWJP disseminates up-to-date information on recent research findings and promotes the implementation of best practices and policies that emerge from the work of pioneering communities around the country.
The National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, located in Philadelphia, PA, addresses the unique needs of battered women who, as a result of the abuse they have experienced at the hands of their intimate partner, end up charged with a crime. The National Clearinghouse strives to prevent the revictimization of battered women defendants by providing specialized technical assistance, resources and support to battered women charged with crimes and to members of their defenses teams. Staff conduct trainings for the criminal justice and advocacy communities; consult with local, state and national organizations; maintain an extensive resource library of relevant case law, research and litigation materials; and advocate for public policy and institutional and social change.
The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence (HRC) supports health care practitioners, administrators and systems, domestic violence experts, survivors, and policy makers at all levels as they improve health care’s response to domestic violence. The HRC supports leaders in the field through groundbreaking model, education and response programs, cutting-edge advocacy and sophisticated technical assistance. The HRC offers free culturally competent materials and in-person trainings that are appropriate for a variety of public and private health professions, settings and departments.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health is committed to developing comprehensive, accessible and culturally-relevant responses to the range of trauma-related issues faced by domestic violence survivors and their children; to promoting advocacy that is survivor-defined and rooted in principles of social justice; and to eradicating the social and psychological conditions that contribute to interpersonal abuse and violence across the lifespan. Our goal is to improve the response of domestic violence programs, mental health systems, and the criminal justice and civil legal systems to domestic violence survivors and their children who are experiencing the traumatic effects of abuse and/or psychiatric disabilities. To this end, the Center focuses efforts on (1) promoting dialogue between domestic violence and mental health organizations, policy-makers and survivor/advocacy groups about the complex intersections of domestic violence, trauma and mental health and current strategies to enhance work in this area, (2) building capacity among local agencies, state domestic violence coalitions and state mental health systems, and (3) providing recommendations on policies, practices and collaborative models that will positively impact the lives of survivors and their children, particularly in relation to trauma and mental health.
The Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges provides leadership and assistance to consumers and professionals dealing with the issue of child protection and custody in the context of domestic violence through operation of the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody. The Resource Center provides access to the best possible sources of information and tangible products to those working in the field of domestic violence, child protection and custody. The Resource Center provides technical assistance, training, policy development and other resources that increase safety, promote stability and enhance the well-being of battered parents and their children.
Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence is a national training and technical assistance provider and a clearinghouse on gender violence in Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. It serves a national network of advocates, community members, organizations, service agencies, professionals, researchers, policy advocates and activists from community and social justice organizations working to eliminate violence against women. The API Institute’s strategic agenda for programs, communities and systems focuses on analyzing the critical issues that inform prevention and intervention in violence against Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women. This is achieved by improving the cultural relevancy of services; providing the tools to confront and change gender norms; and conducting research and policy reviews that increase access to systems.
The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities (NLN) exists to advance effective responses to eliminate violence and promote healthy relationships within Latino families and communities. The NLN addresses four primary issues: increasing access for Latinos experiencing domestic violence through training and technical assistance; producing culturally relevant tools for advocates and practitioners; conducting culturally relevant research that explores the context in which Latino families experience violence; and interjecting the lived realities of Latinos into policy efforts to better support Latino families. The NLN is led by five national leaders and supported by three national steering committees in policy, technical assistance and research.
Ujima: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community is a project of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ujima, pronounced oo-JEE-mah, is the third principle of Kwanzaa and means “collective work and responsibility”. Ujima was founded in response to a need for an active approach to ending violence against women in the Black Community. The Ujima mission is to create a world where black women & girls are valued, respected and safe. Our areas of focus are centered around domestic violence, sexual violence and community violence.