Domestic Violence Stereotypes

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What is the greatest issue facing women in America today? This is a difficult question to answer but it can be reasonably assumed that domestic violence is one of the strongest front runners. More than 4 million women experience domestic violence each year in the United States, meaning that 1 in 4 women will face this issue in their lifetimes (Safe Horizon). In the last largest study on domestic violence it was found that intimate partner violence made up 20% of all nonfatal violent crime committed against women in 2001 and accounted for 33% of all female murders (American Bar Association). Two thirds of females killed by firearms were killed by their intimate partners and this is three times higher than the total number of males murdered by…show more content…
When services are based on the idea that women of color who are homeless or who are addicted to drugs are the ones who are most susceptible to domestic violence (Donnelly, 13). These stereotypes keep women of color from taking advantage of services while shelters are less likely to be easily given by shelters because they may make the women go through stringent criteria to take part in programs. White privilege can keep shelters from truthfully recognizing their biases and stereotypes and moving past them in order to effectively help these women. As well, this lack of recognition of biases can keep shelters from acknowledging the effect of race and racism on women of color and the unique issues that they are faced with and leads to shelters lacking in particular services that these women may require (Donnelly, 13). “We don’t have specific programs because their needs are actually the same…it doesn’t matter what nationality she is” (Donnelly, 22). Administrators feel that their shelters are equally available to all women and put the blame on women of color for not taking part in them (Donnelly, 13): “We really treat everyone the same…having a staff person of a minority help them to feel more at ease, but…we don’t make a difference between White women and women of color” (Donnelly, 21). This lack of services is never made an issue because those who fund these services also do not recognize their absence from the programs. Local and state governments may face the same blinders caused by White privilege but there is also the possibility that they are purposefully supporting agencies who do not support women of color because the majority of government workers are affiliated with White male privilege (Donnelly,
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