Intimate Partner Violence in the African American Community

The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community
(IDVAAC) is an organization focused on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they face issues related to domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder maltreatment, and community violence. IDVAAC’s mission is to enhance society’s understanding of and ability to end violence in the African-American community.

IDVAAC was first formed in 1993, when a group of scholars and practitioners informally met to discuss the plight of the African- American community in the area of domestic violence. The group ultimately agreed that the “one-size-fits-all” approach to domestic violence services being provided in mainstream communities would not suffice for African Americans, who disproportionately experience stressors that can create conditions that lead to violence in the home.

You will find IDVAAC’s perspectives on important issues that impact domestic violence and the African American community. Content includes the organization’s viewpoints and commentary on a variety of topics, including longstanding issues and current events, that directly or indirectly affect the lives of African American battered women and their families and those who seek to serve them. Visit the main website:

The following fact sheets provide a snapshot view of statistics on domestic violence in the African American community, as well as information on battered women, teen dating violence, risk factors, general information on IDVAAC, and other relevant information. - See more at:

What is Intimate Partner Violence?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans. The term "intimate partner violence" describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.

The goal is to stop IPV before it begins.
There is a lot to learn about how to prevent IPV. We do know that strategies that promote healthy behaviors in relationships are important. Programs that teach young people skills for dating can prevent violence. These programs can stop violence in dating relationships before it occurs.

Understanding Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet

This 2-page fact sheet provides a basic overview of intimate partner violence. It is intended for the general public.
View the full text:

Statistics on  Intimate Partner Violence in the African American Community

• In a nationally representative survey conducted in 1996, 29% of African American women and 12% of African American men reported at least one instance of violence from an intimate partner.

• African Americans account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides. In 2005, African Americans accounted for almost 1/3 of the intimate partner homicides in this country.

• Black women comprise 8% of the U.S. population but in 2005 accounted for 22% of the intimate partner homicide victims and 29% of all female victims of intimate partner homicide.

• Intimate partner homicides among African Americans have declined sharply in the last 30 years. Partner homicides involving a black man or a black woman decreased from a high of 1529 in 1976 to 475 in 2005, for a
total decline of 69%.

• Intimate partner deaths have decreased most dramatically among black men. From 1976-1985, black men were more likely than black women to be a victim of domestic homicide; by 2005, black women were 2.4 times more likely than a black male to murdered by their partners. Over this period, intimate partner homicides declined by 83% for black men vs. 55% for black women.

Teen Dating Violence  

• Black youth are over represented as victims of teen  dating violence. In a 2003 national study of high school    
students, almost 14% of African American youth (vs. 7% of white youth) reported that a boyfriend or girlfriend    
had “hit, slapped, or physically hurt them on purpose” in  the last year.

• Boys (13.7%) and girls (14%) were almost equally likely to report being a victim of dating violence.      

Risk Factors

• Intimate partner violence among African Americans is related to economic factors. Intimate partner violence among blacks occurs more frequently among couples with low incomes3, those in which the male partner is
underemployed or unemployed,4 particularly when he is not seeking work, and among couples residing in very poor neighborhoods, regardless of the couple’s income.

• When income and neighborhood characteristics are controlled for, racial differences in IPV are greatly reduced.

• Alcohol problems (drinking, binge drinking, dependency) are more frequently related to intimate partner violence for African Americans than for whites or Hispanics.

• As with other abusive men, African American men who batter are higher in jealousy and the need for power and control in the relationship.

• As with women of other races, among African American women killed by their partner, the lethal violence was  more likely to occur if there had been incidents in which the partner had used or threatened to use a weapon on
her and/or the partner has tried to choke or strangle her.

• Among African American women killed by their partner, almost half were killed while in the process of leaving the relationship, highlighting the need to take extra precautions at that time.

• Among African American women who killed their partner, almost 80% had a history of abuse.

Impact of Abuse

• Black women who are battered have more physical ailments, mental health issues,4 are less likely to practice safe sex, and are more likely to abuse substances during pregnancy than black women without a history of abuse.

• Battered women are at greater risk for attempting suicide11 particularly if they were physically abused as a child, for being depressed and to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). 

There is far more to this conversation than shown on this page!   Please read the entire article today!   The Fact Sheet Provided by the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at the University of Minnesota.  Read the full article here:

Please considering reading and sharing this important website and fact sheet with the leaders in your communities.