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The Correlation of Domestic Violence and Systemic Oppression

Written by: The Women’s Center Staff

The Women’s Center holds racial justice as a fundamental value and a guiding value to our work. As our country confronts the realities of systemic racism, this year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are highlighting the fact that domestic violence is directly linked to all forms of violence, and to break the cycle of domestic violence, we must also be committed to ending racism, discrimination, and systemic oppression.

How are domestic violence and racism connected?

Both domestic violence and racism are forms of oppression. This means that abusers and racists hold the same attitudes and beliefs, which center around exerting power over victims and perpetuating violence. Similar tactics to demonstrate power and control are used to silence, degrade, and ostracize victims.

Further, when people in positions of power hold oppressive beliefs, their beliefs shape and become solidified in our legal system, government, schools, and even in social service agencies. This makes it harder for survivors to seek support to heal, receive justice, and ultimately live lives free from violence and oppression.

The Women’s Center’s anti-racist work:

Our Anti-Racist Statement guides all decisions in our agency. To truly support survivors and advocates of color, we are committed to creating a safe, accepting space by treating all with dignity and respect, holding ourselves and others accountable by addressing racism, and examining and addressing our own biases by continuing our education on anti-racist beliefs and behaviors in all practices. Read our full Anti-racist Statement here.

Learn more:

From our partners at Future’s Without Violence: Voices from Our Movement: a 3-part video series on ending racism and oppression as the heart of our anti-violence movement

From our partners at Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape: Racial and Sexual Violence Pyramid

Sign up for virtual toolkits to help build awareness and support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month at here.

If you have questions or need help, call our 24-Hour Hotline at 262.542.3828.