Domestic Violence Among Black Immigrant Women

The population of interest

The selected population of interest for this study is black immigrant women.

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Summary of the search process

The search sought to establish the prevalence of domestic violence among black immigrant women in the United States. Search terms included domestic violence, intimate partner violence, black immigrant women, and the United States. Different databases were used to search for relevant information including EBSCOhost, PubMed, CDC database, and the Women of Color Network website. In total, 56 sources were generated. 34 were excluded because they were published before 2013, and thus the information was deemed outdated for best academic practices. 19 more sources were excluded because they talked about domestic violence among immigrants in general. Finally, three sources were used for this assignment as they contained relevant and specific information concerning domestic violence or intimate partner violence among black immigrant women in the United States. The first source is a systemic review on the topic, and thus it was selected because it captures relevant and up-to-date information. The second article by Mose and Gillum (2016) is a primary source as it entails round table reflections on domestic violence by black immigrant women. The last article by Nasraddin (2017) is a thesis on the topic under discussion.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and domestic violence will be used interchangeably in this paper because the two terms are deemed to define the same thing. According to Nasraddin (2017), domestic violence cases in the United States are more common than cancer deaths, muggings, and car accidents combined. The main types of IPV noted during this search included psychological/emotional abuse, sexual violence, physical abuse, and controlling behavior. Getting official figures about IPV among black immigrant women is hindered due to the lack of reporting of such cases (West, 2016). Therefore, the available data reflects higher prevalence than what is recorded. Data shows that 43.7 percent of black women immigrants report domestic violence cases, which is disproportionately higher as compared to 34.6 percent of their white counterparts (Nasraddin, 2017). Additionally, this group of individuals records higher cases of femicide as compared to white females (West, 2016).

Different factors have been put forward to explain this health phenomenon. Age is one of the contributing factors whereby almost half of IPV reported cases involve young married women aged below 30 years (Nasraddin, 2017). For instance, African immigrant women aged below 30 years reported IPV cases, which were triple that of their counterparts aged over 40 years (Mose & Gillum, 2016). Poor neighborhoods also contribute to high cases of IPV. Black immigrant women living in these areas are three times more likely to face IPV as compared to those living in better neighborhoods (Nasraddin, 2017). Additionally, low socioeconomic status plays a huge role in the promotion of domestic violence as black immigrant women under this category are highly likely to be abused. However, one interesting aspect is that black immigrant women with college degrees are more likely to be victims of IPV as compared to their counterparts with high school education or less (Nasraddin, 2017). Alcohol addiction or overconsumption increases the risk of IPV by seven folds (Nasraddin, 2017).

Interpretation of findings

The findings obtained in this study show that domestic violence is more prevalent among black immigrant women as compared to other women in the United States. This assertion indicates clear health disparities based on this group of individuals. For instance, black women with college education are highly likely to suffer from IPV as their male partners become controlling as a way of compensating their educational shortcomings (Nasraddin, 2017). This disparity could be tackled by empowering and educating the affected males to address their insecurities. Additionally, men living in low socioeconomic status and impoverished neighborhoods are more likely to be alcoholic. This aspect in turn contributes significantly to cases of domestic violence. The health disparity occasioned by this phenomenon can be addressed by availing support services such as counseling for men with alcoholic problems. Newly married and young black immigrant women are vulnerable to domestic violence.

Mose and Gillum (2016) note that this aspect could be explained by cultural and religious factors where women are expected to be subordinate and submissive to their husbands. For instance, the African culture has socialized women to accept abuse and punishment as part of disciplinary measures (Mose & Gillum, 2016). This disparity can be addressed by assisting young black immigrant women to know their rights and encourage them to report such cases to the authorities. However, language barrier, racism, and discrimination together with other factors prevent most black immigrant women from reporting cases of domestic abuse to the relevant authorities. In summary, black immigrant women are highly likely to be victims of IPV, and thus they need support structures to address this problem. For example, introducing counseling services and encouraging victims to report such cases to the authorities would go a long way in dealing with this problem.


Mose, G. B., & Gillum, T. L. (2016). Intimate partner violence in African immigrant communities in the united states: Reflections from the IDVAAC African women’s round table on domestic violence. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 25(1), 50-62.

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Nasraddin, A. (2017). Am i not a woman and a sister and an immigrant?: Approaching intimate partner violence in black immigrant communities within an intersectional framework. Web.

West, C. M. (2016). African immigrant women and intimate partner violence: A systematic review. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 25(1), 4-17.

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