Members of the Black community not only experience higher rates of sexual violence but also often encounter barriers when it comes to seeking justice and support, which can be attributed to a range of institutional and historical factors.
Reporting sexual violence can be incredibly challenging for survivors, as they often fear not being believed. On top of that, the fear of involving the police can further discourage them from coming forward. Moreover, Black survivors may opt not to report due to the added concerns of potential physical harm to themselves and their loved ones, worries about facing unjust accusations, and a prevailing sense that justice might not be served even if they do file a report.
Systemic racism permeates our social structures and policies, contributing to elevated rates of violence experienced by Black women and Black men compared to other communities. The following statistics shed light on the prevalence of sexual violence within the Black community.
45.1% of Black women have experienced partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
40.1% of Black men have experienced partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
7.4% of Black women have experienced intimate partner sexual violence (other than rape) in their lifetimes.
14.8% of Black men have experienced intimate partner sexual violence (other than rape) in their lifetimes.
Culturally competent resources are often lacking when survivors from the Black community reach out for help. Black men, in particular, face the additional hurdle of stigmas and stereotypes that make it harder for them to access the support and resources they need after experiencing sexual violence.
Survivors in the Black community who feel uneasy about reporting but wish to discuss their options and understand the process may find it beneficial to engage with a local sexual assault service provider. In instances where formal support channels may not be viable, the support of friends, family, and the community becomes even more crucial in contributing to a survivor's healing journey.
The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors stands in solidarity with the Black community in our shared commitment to building a world free from sexual violence and intimate partner violence. As a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we are committed to offering FREE and Confidential services to all individuals.
It's important to understand that if you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, there is help available. You are not alone, and there are resources to support and uplift survivors.
The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors
24/7 Crisis Hotline at 757.236.5260
24/7 Helpline at 757.258.5051
YWCA South Hampton Roads
24/7 Crisis Hotline at 757.251.0144