Domestic Violence and African Americans By the Numbers

A look at domestic violence in the black community

The National Domestic Hotline defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Contrary to popular belief, domestic violence includes physical, emotional, economic, sexual or psychological actions or threats.
Black Women Have the Greatest Risk
Black women have the greatest risk of experiencing domestic violence. In 2005, black women represented 8 percent of the population, but accounted for 22 percent of intimate partner homicides.
Teens and Domestic Violence
Domestic violence among African-American teens is twice the rate of white teens. A 2003 national study of high school students revealed that almost 14 percent of African-American youth compared to 7 percent of white youth reported that a partner hit or slapped them on purpose from 2002-03.
Black Men Are Victims, Too
Between 1993 and 1998, black males experienced intimate partner violence at a rate about 62 percent higher than that of white males. This was also about 22 times the rate of men of other races, according to statistics from the American Bar Association’s Committee on Domestic Violence.
Break-Ups to Make-Ups
Although 70 percent to 80 percent of black women leave or attempt to leave a violent relationship, many black women may find it harder to leave a battering relationship than white women. While reasons for staying in abusive relationships vary, many researchers attribute economic and social issues and lack of dependence on the police.
Outer Wounds
Approximately 40 percent to 50 percent of female victims are physically injured when assaulted by their intimate partner, accounting for more than 200,000 visits to the hospital emergency room each year, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Domestic Violence Affects Mental Health
Women who were victims of domestic violence are more likely to develop a mental disorder at some point in their lifetimes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August 2012 changed the guidelines for preventive care, which requires all new health plans to offer no-cost domestic violence screenings.
Death By Spouse or Partner
Black women are about three times more likely to die at the hands of a partner or ex-partner than members of other racial groups. Intimate-partner homicide is also among the leading causes of death for black women ages 15 to 35.
Signs of Abuse
There are various signs that you are in an abusive relationship. Those signs include an over-possessive partner who checks your cell phone, shows extreme jealousy or insecurities, has mood swings or constantly makes false accusations. For more signs of domestic violence visit here.
For more about intimate partner abuse, visit

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