Women experience the most intimate partner violence and it is suggested that African American women experience this violence more than women who are Caucasian. In the past, research has been mainly geared towards Caucasians thus neglecting to look at minority groups who are also experiencing this violence. The article itself looks at research from literature based on intimate partner violence and looks at prevalence rates and statistics describing partner violence.
The first survey used to examine African American women’s experience of intimate partner violence is “The National Family Violence Survey” which was conducted in 1975. The results explained how African American men have a higher rate of participation in intimate partner violence than Caucasian men, but when assessing income, these African American men are less likely to participate in violence compared to its Caucasian counterparts. When it comes to prosperity of intimate partner violence, social economic status does in fact play a role in the violence African American women are 1.23 times more likely to undergo minor intimate partner violence, and these African American women are 2.36 times more likely to experience violence than Caucasians.
The NVWAS also known as “The National Violence against Women Survey” assesses the incidences of sexual assault, IPV, and stalking among their sample of 8,000 men and 8,000 women. There was a telephone survey used to measure these aspects. The NVAWS found “comparable rates of sexual assault, IPV and stalking” among African American and Caucasian women and found that these African American women experienced this violence more than Caucasian women. Besides races, a strong indicator of intimate partner violence in income. 11% of Caucasian women are living in poverty than compared to African American women
When comparing socialization, the article explains how “African American men are not taught, and do not expect, to be dominant” or have much power. There was a large wage gap shown between these African American men and the Caucasian man. The article explains how the African American men are socialized differently from the white men. With African American families, there is no difference in gender role socialization although there is a difference in the whites. The article also explains how these African American men lacked “educational, economic, and political resources” in their family roles. In contrast, the article reveals how men of both races are taught to believe that they are superior to women and that these men need to dominate their female partners within their gender roles. . Men being hypermasculine are doing this to prove their manhood, they are taking on gender roles by revealing the wealth and power they need and want to prove their strength.
Some macrostructural factors that can contribute to intimate partner violence are examined through an ecological perspective which looks at both structural and societal factors. Researchers on the macro side explained how “high levels of IPV in the African American community are partly related to the larger proportion of African Americans living in areas of extreme poverty.” The findings from the macrostructure perspective indicated that African American men who abuse their partners may have a higher degree of psychopathology than those who are Caucasian men, and how it is almost seen as normal for these African Americans to abuse their partners.
Internalized racism fosters self-dislike on individual levels and it effects the African American families because it could be happening do to internalized oppression which is directed into self-harming behaviors thus having these men conduct harm on the African American women.
In mainstream American culture, African American women are “commonly represented as non-feminine, independent, and overpowering” these traits portray these women are unnaturally powerful. These women are seen to experience victim blaming saying how these women probably provoked their abusers to hurt them. There is also a representation of “Black superwomen” to reveal the strong and independent trait these women experience. These stereotypes show these women as needing to be controlled and heighten the reason that they experience more IPV.
The dangers of stereotyping African American women as “superwomen” is the notion that these women can “successfully cope with anything” which has heightened their risk for exposure of intimate partner violence. Another problem is that there is a societal response victimizing these women. These views of these women being strong and independent can potentially lead to a lack of empathy and advocacy for the African American victims, these women are more likely to deny abuse that happens to them. The article explains how African American women are less likely than Caucasian women to go to shelters because they are not fully aware of the services the shelters have to offer or because these women think that the shelter is a poor fit for themselves. Some responses of those who face intimate partner violence “face intimidation and pressure from their partners” as well as “PTSD, depression, substance abuse” and thoughts of suicide.
One of the issues with intervention programs are that these programs ignore cultural differences and treat all of their clients in the same standardized group treatment approach instead of tailoring it to their individual needs. These programs use a one size fits all model which is not necessarily helpful to all of those who are suffering.