Well you can start by watching this week's Ill Doctrine
vid (above), which will correlate for you the prevalence of excuses for abusers and the fact that the number one cause of death for African American women aged 15 to 45 is intimate partner violence. You do the math. (Look in Ill Doc's comment thread
for a dispute as to cause of death stats.)
And it's not only happening in the African American community. According to the Asian and Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, a compilation of community-based studies found that 41 to 60 percent of Asian American respondents have experienced domestic violence. Local studies in California and Massachusetts found that Asian women were overrepresented among domestic violence deaths. You can see further breakdowns of the individual studies here
. And here are general statistics on domestic violence in the US
Domestic violence in communities of color often goes unreported, although possibly for different reasons in different communities. Asian American women often have language and cultural barriers to reporting abuse, fear of deportation, and, of course, that ol' standby: they don't know that they can get help. One reason that is probably shared between African American and Asian American women is not believing that they'll get support or help if they ask for it ... and too often, they're right about that. So the underreporting undermines the perception of how prevalent domestic violence is, even though the existing numbers are damning enough.
Another perception problem regarding communities of color is the idea that domestic violence is somehow encoded into their cultures and one can do nothing about it. This is racism hiding under a free-to-be-you-and-me multicultural ethos. If women in your country, in your city, are being hurt by members of their own families, it's your problem, even if they're from a different ethnicity than you.
And, many think there are reasons that excuse violence between intimate partners or within families. "She made him angry," "She should have known that he had a bad temper," or even "She hit him first," or (as in some Rihanna/Brown rumors) "She gave him an STD." No violence by anyone against anyone is excusable, and if a woman hits her boyfriend, he has the right to press assault charges against her or call the police. And he should probably dump her ass. What he doesn't have the right to do is hit her back
This is a problem both within and outside of communities of color. Nothing excuses violence, and all women are endangered by the perception that they are culpable for the violence committed upon them. If a man has more power in their society, and more power in their relationship, then he has the power to walk away from whatever it is that she might be doing to him. No, the violence is just an expression of his power over her, often in a situation when she is trying to empower herself.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please get help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE. The hotline operates in English and Spanish and has access to interpreter services in 170 languages. This service is for male survivors as well.
If you're looking for culturally specific help, you can download a PDF directory of resources for Asian Americans here
. And Ill Doc has further resources here
for African Americans, Latin@s, and other people of color.