Tiara C. Willie on WYPR Talking Intimate Partner Violence

December 29, 2021

When the pandemic hit, protections and support services that survivors of intimate partner violence once turned were suddenly out of reach.

Loved ones who might have acted as a sounding board or offered a place to shelter when things got bad at home died from COVID. Non-profits and social service agencies hampered by shutdowns became limited in how they could help as well. Lost jobs, virtual work and other factors meant some women were trapped at home with violent partners.

Black women found themselves dealing with these new obstacles as well as the racism and sexism that already existed for them before the pandemic. For instance, Black women may be weary of calling the police on their partners because they don’t want them to become part of the system of mass incarceration. Or they fear because of stereotypes people have of Black women as aggressors, that they might wind up arrested too.

Tiara C. Willie, Bloomberg Assistant Professor of American Health in the Department of Mental Health, recently talked about all of these issues, as well as other challenges faced by survivors of intimate partner violence, in a thoughtful conversation on Midday with Tom Hall on WYPR.

She also recently collaborated with non-profit Ujima, Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community to listen to Black women IPV survivors about their experiences with the basic necessity of keeping a roof over their heads during the pandemic. The Initiative funded that research.

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