Materials on this page contain information about gender-based violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
Week 3: Gender Based Violence
Intimate partner violence is extremely common; in the United States, one in three women and one in ten men will experience intimate partner violence. However, systemic barriers–such as racial stereotypes about what the perfect victim looks like–hinder many women of color when they attempt to receive the support they need when they find themselves in abusive relationships.
- Read this article that features data on how gender-based violence impacts women in the Asian and Pacific Islander community. (5 mins – NBC)
- Watch this video about the impact of intimate partner violence on Black women and girls, presented by Pittsburgh based Gwen’s Girls. (30 mins – Gwens Girs)
- Watch this video featuring women working in the anti-violence movement on how racism impacts frontline workers and those seeking services. (10 mins – Futures Without Violence)
- Listen to this podcast discussing how intimate partner and sexual violence can have additional hurdles to healing for immigrant women. (30 mins – YWCA)
Although the dominate media narrative surrounding intimate partner violence generally features a straight, white woman as the survivor, intimate partner violence is equally common in the LGBTQ+ community and has a particularly disproportionate impact on trans women of color. Law enforcement and service providers are not always willing to provide support to LGBTQ+ people and might even re-victimize them, which only compounds the problem.
- Read this short article that talks about the high rates of intimate partner and sexual violence against LGBTQ+ people and why the discrimination they face often makes them hesitant to seek support. (4 mins – Human Rights Campaign)
- Watch this powerful TED Talk about the need to center LGBTQ+ survivors of color in conversations about intimate partner and sexual violence. (14 mins – TED)
- Read this article about how COVID-19 restrictions have posed a serious safety risk to LGBTQ+ people experiencing intimate partner violence. (6 mins – NBC)
According to YWCA USA, one out of every four women who has experienced homelessness went through that period of homelessness because she was a victim of violence. No one should have to choose between shelter and abuse, and that fact is why access to housing is key to ensuring the safety of survivors of intimate partner violence. Today’s resources discuss the barriers that victims of intimate partner violence face to maintain stable housing and what can be done to help survivors navigate those challenges.
- Read this article on how domestic violence creates additional challenges for survivors in maintaining safe and stable housing. (18 mins – Safe Housing Partnerships)
- Watch this video that explains why safe and affordable housing is one of the most pressing concerns for survivors of violence and abuse. (3 mins – National Resource Center on Domestic Violence)
- Read this factsheet from YWCA USA about why we believe no one should have to choose between shelter and their physical safety. (4 mins – YWCA USA)
Financial abuse is a common tactic abusers use to control their partners, and this type of control comes in many forms. Theft, withholding funds, taking out loans, or signing up for credit cards in their partner’s name can all be forms of abuse that make victims more reliant on their abuser. Today, you are going to talk about how to recognize financial abuse, how it often goes hand-in-hand with other forms of abuse, and why it can be so devastating to victims.
- Listen to this podcast discussing the realities of financial abuse and how this often “invisible” abuse method is so prominent intimate partner violence cases. (27 mins – YWCA USA)
- Read this article that explains why financial abuse can also be demoralizing, terrorizing, and traumatic for people in abusive situations. (7 mins – Bustle)
- Watch this video that explains how common financial abuse is and how to recognize the signs. (2 mins – Newsy)
Gender-based violence is not confined to the home. Although images of police brutality against Black men are all too familiar, the systemic abuse of women–and women of color in particular–at the hands of police and the prison system too often goes unrecognized. Today, you will examine why gender-based violence goes largely unchecked in the criminal justice system and how systemic racism enables this widespread abuse.
- Read this article about the abuse-to-prison pipeline and why we need a national reassessment of the ways the criminal justice system victimizes survivors of abuse. (10 mins – Vox)
- Read the first-person stories of survivors of sexual abuse from police officers and how common sexual misconduct is. (12 mins – The Guardian)
- Read this article about the epidemic of sexual abuse in women’s prisons and why lawmakers have failed to take action. (7 mins – Ms Magazine)
Prompts and action items to inspire meaningful thought and conversation and effect change.
- What was the most challenging thing you learned this week?
- How do ideas about what the perfect victim of intimate partner violence looks like keep institutions from supporting all victims of violence?
- Intimate partner violence often impacts a person’s work life and can even jeopardize employment. Encourage your workplace to put a trauma-informed plan in place that can support employees if they are experiencing intimate partner violence.