Their report found at least 55.3 percent of female homicides were related to intimate partner violence, which means the victim was killed by their current or former partner or caught in the crossfire of an intimate partner homicide.
The report proposed targeted IPV prevention programs for high-risk women and enhanced access to services for all persons to reduce female homicide rates.
However, that’s easier said than done.
“We just don't trust systems,” said Victoria Grant, Justice System Advocate for the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center.
“Because systems have never worked in our favor,” she said.
As a result, Grant said African-American women are less likely to contact domestic violence service providers or call police when they’re abused, thus increasing their risk of being killed.
Grant said African-American women are often fearful of reinforcing racial stereotypes the black community is violent.
“There's a saying we have in our community,” she said. “What goes on in this house, stays in this house. And that means we do not air our dirty laundry into other communities.”
Grant has found a solution to help reduce homicide rates among black women.
She created the Ujima program, named for the third principle of Kwanzaa. It works with service providers in the African-American community, including several churches, to help victims’ access resources to escape their abusers.
Garth wishes she knew about services for domestic violence victims during the years Gray abused her.
Now, she said, it’s too late.
“I can’t pick the piece up and, ‘Okay, We’re going to move on. We’re going to do this,” she said. “There’s no pieces to pick up."