Essays on Domestic Violence

Essay Introduction

Oftentimes, perceptions of others can be the difference between life and death. It allows you to form an impression of another person with little information and base the preconceived ideas on social norms and roles that are expected from them. African American people are generally held to a lower standard, therefore, treated differently and thought of as less. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American women hold the highest death rate in the nation. More than half of female homicides are related to intimate partner violence which is also known as domestic violence. As an African American woman, this topic is sensitive and important to my community and needs to be addressed. This research is intended to inform you of perception and how it affects African American battered women, intergenerational violence in black families, and the risk factors they face, which, if not assessed correctly, has led to high mortality rates. One might think domestic violence is the number one health issue for African American women, up to par with pregnancy and childbirth, and they are correct. The statistics on battered African American women are staggering.

Research Paper on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the act of abuse in the forms of intimidation, physical or sexual assault, or battery in the home between a spouse or intimate partner. The history of domestic violence reaches so far in the ancestry of many, and women are still experiencing generational trauma from centuries ago. Although marital or intimate partner abuse was not yet a crime until the 1920s, its presence in African American households and communities was well-known but often kept secret. In the black community, there is an unspoken rule that whatever happens in that house stays in that house. Meaning no one outside of the household can no talk about what is happening inside, forcing young African American girls from speaking about sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence that is happening in their homes by their own people.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence undermines healthy African American families and communities (Bent-Goodley T.B,2004). Most would agree with Bent-Goodley. It is almost as if the abuse is normalized but still a secret between the families. There is a stigma regarding the strong black woman, who is so strong she does not need to lean on anyone as she is all she needs. African American women are raised to be stronger than they appear and try to always rise above, showing no weakness through whatever obstacle, even intimate partner abuse. The problem is minimized and normalized, so there is a generational cycle of abuse that continues to thrive because their culture or community pressures them to stay strong and silent.

In contrast to the previous statement, when or if they choose to seek help from an abusive relationship, they are often ridiculed and asked why they are staying in the relationship and eventually losing key relationships with people who could potentially help but may share a relationship with the abuser and formed their own bias as far as their situation. There are many risk factors that play into why they don’t leave, lethality increases the moment the victim decides to leave, and there are often more important factors to consider, like their children’s safety. African American women need to be informed of the femicide they face on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, there is not enough published literature regarding the matter. If the women in black communities continue to not educate themselves on the matter, the cycle will keep revolving. The abuse should be named and recognized, and treatment should be provided, but there are also not enough resources in the black communities so they can help. Black women are victimized by intimate partner abuse, about 35 percent higher than white women.

Thesis Statement for Domestic Violence

The perception of black women is completely skewed. If they speak up, they are complaining and should be at least grateful. If they keep quiet, they are weak and need to stand up for themselves, and if they are headstrong, they are seen to be arrogant and too confident. They are constantly set up to make some progress but not given enough resources to finish, so as a result, they fail. According to Bent- Goodley, he said: “Without understanding how African Americans understand domestic violence and perceive its impact, it is impossible to create effective programs and intervention strategies that fully address this critical dilemma” (Bent- Goodley T.B, 2004). It is possible the problem may be that African American women do not understand the impact of violence on their minds, bodies, and families. However, most abusers were predisposed to violence at some point in their life.

Understanding the Impact of Domestic Violence

They need to understand the impact of the abuse and the example they are setting for the generations that comes after them. Those who are abused can experience mental health issues, such as anxiety attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, acute stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and ideation (Bent-Goodley T.B, 2004). Too many women are asked why they have not left the abusive relationship when they should be asking why he is choosing to treat her that way. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injuries to women between the ages of 15 and 40 years of age.

Often targeted by police and defeated by racism, they don’t report sexual assault or domestic violence because of criminal history, undocumented statuses, and bad relationships with law enforcement within their communities. To most, calling for police seems comforting, but not when you are an African American woman. It is often uncomfortable and unfair. There have been numerous occasions where black women have been taken advantage of in the custody of police officers. There is a solid mistrust of the people who are paid and sworn in to keep them safe. Countless incidents go unreported simply because of the perceptions of battered African American women.

Statistically, Oklahoma is the 3rd in the nation for women being murdered by men they had a previous intimate relationship with. In 2012, there was a total of 219 homicides. Sadly, 53 percent of those 219 were reported as a domestic violence homicide, and 58 percent of these homicides were killed with a firearm. When there is access to a firearm or one in the home, it increases the lethality risk by at least 500 percent. Black women are the majority of the statistics from reports, and there are additional incidents that, again, do not get reported. Sometimes their abuser may be the judge who grants victim protection orders or the police that arrest the victim because they are not trauma-informed. It is unfortunate, but the abusers are the people in power. The very people who are supposed to be in the best interest of the victim, not the perpetrator.

Ideas of intergenerational Cycle of Violence

Another important aspect of domestic violence in black communities is the intergenerational cycle of violence. The intergenerational cycle of violence is a pattern of violence that is passed to the next generation, such as parent to child. Considering’s one’s culture, upcoming, and history, it is a direct influence on how relationships are expected to be conducted. Children who are exposed to domestic violence are at an increased risk of being an abuser themselves or developing psychosocial and phycological problems. The research was performed on victims who were mothers to understand how they communicated domestic violence to their children in an effort to prevent violence in their children’s lives, and the research said, “Although mothers are interested in talking about IPV (Intimate et al.) and relationships and identify communication strategies for doing so, many have never discussed these topics with their children (Insetta, 2015)”.

With that being said, it is apparent the violence was never communicated when the mother was a child or possibly in her adult years. However, the fact that she is willing to explain the importance of relationships and how they operate to educate her child so that their risk of violence decreases says that although it is a sensitive subject to speak to a child about, it is worth them having the conversation. Essentially, the children end up teaching the parents the importance of healthy relationships and open communication. The abuse and violence run so deep in their families that the children have to be the ones to break the cycle. Other factors to consider when in a revolving generational cycle are poverty, maltreatment, and the overall well-being of a child can predict its likelihood of abuse in the future.

Using Burundi as an example, which is one of the world’s poorest nations, research showed “childhood maltreatment and perceived partner intimidation were strong predictors for the perpetration of violence against children. Moreover, we found that women were more likely to use violence against children if they experienced partner violence and less likely to resort to violence if they felt intimidated. Childhood maltreatment was again a strong predictor” (Crombach, 2015). It seems that most critical issues stem from poverty and not having basic necessities while trying to provide for a family, and ultimately feeling defeated is a major stressor. Therefore, they found that maltreatment needed to be addressed in order to disrupt the intergenerational cycle of violence.

Lastly, to help identify opportunities for prevention, there are risk factors that can be assessed to decrease lethality, mortality, and domestic violence. According to the CDC, risk factors are a combination of societal, community, relational, and individual factors that may or may not contribute to domestic violence in the future. Some individual risk factors are young age, poverty, depression, emotional dependence, and a desire for power and control in relationships. And some relationship factors are economic stress, marital instability and conflict, and dominance and control of the relationship.

A societal factor is gender norms, and community factors are poverty and weak community sanctions. There are many risk factors that may be able to predict or prevent domestic violence from making its way into a generational cycle. Although these factors are used for prevention, domestic violence is the leading cause of death in black women. The scarcity of programs in black communities is an issue for many, and racism is so loud and in your face that African American women feel uncomfortable when going to seek help, and there isn’t anyone here that looks like them. Research says, “the experience of racism influences a person’s decision-making, and African American women’s reluctance to seek formal services may be a direct result of racism.

Scarcity of Resources and Racism’s Influence

Living in a racist society creates stressors, such as stereotypes and unequal employment and educational opportunities, that in turn affect the way African American women perceive and respond to abuse by an intimate partner” (Fraiser, 2002). Frasier’s research explains why African American women don’t look for help from people who do not look like them, or they can not relate to them. So, they look to people in their community, church, or family member, and unfortunately, they still do not get the information or resources they need to get through the abuse they are facing because they are not seeking help from out of their community. Black women have the highest rate of homicide than any other racial group, with intimate partner violence being first and pregnancy and childbirth being second. In order to lower the statistics, it is to take black women more seriously and equal to white women so that their needs can be efficiently met.

This topic was important to me because I’m an African American woman who has grown up around domestic violence. I hold most of the risk factors, yet, I am not an abusive parent, partner, or dog mom. However, I know many women who are facing this struggle and are afraid to report because they have criminal backgrounds or their relationship with law enforcement is so negative they also see them as abused. Because of these seemingly small issues, black women are dying every day because they don’t have the support they need. This topic applies to my everyday life as I am an advocate for battered women. My goal is to empower them into all possibilities despite the racism, sexism, and system that works against them at times.


In conclusion, this research was intended to inform you of perception and how it affects African American battered women, intergenerational violence in black families, and the risk factors they face, which, if not correctly assessed, has led to high mortality rates. Domestic violence or Intimate Partner Abuse is a common phenomenon and is not apparent at first but is present. With prevention and intervention, the issue can be worked through, although never resolved. The perception of Black women has made an impact on the way their domestic violence case and medical care is treated. Intergenerational cycles can be broken, but only by going backward and allowing children to change an adult’s world and assessing risk factors could ultimately save lives.

All women must be properly educated on trauma and domestic violence so that in the event they find themselves in a situation as such, and they have some knowledge they can lean against. Judge Karan, in family law, stated, “Awareness of the warning signs, or risk factors about an abusive relationship can be a matter of life and death” (Karan, 2004). Along with Karan, I encourage my fellow black women to be proactive and take their safety much more seriously. In my research, I have learned that it is critical that there are more resources in black communities so that black women can feel safe and respected while seeking intervention.

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