“You Do Not Think of Me as a Human Being”: Race and Gender Inequities Intersect to Discourage Police Reporting of Violence against Women

Michele R Decker, Charvonne N Holliday, Zaynab Hameeduddin, Roma Shah, Janice Miller, Joyce Dantzler, Leigh Goodmark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are drivers of women’s morbidity and mortality in urban environments yet remain among the most underreported crimes in the USA. We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with women who experienced past-year IPV or SV, to explore structural and community influences on police contact in Baltimore, MD. Results indicate that gender-based and race-based inequities intersected at the structural and community levels to discourage women from police contact following IPV/SV. Structural influences on police reporting included police discriminatory police misconduct, perceived lack of concern for citizens, power disparities, fear of harm from police, and IPV/SV-related minimization and victim-blaming. Community social norms of police avoidance discouraged police contact, enforced by stringent sanctions. The intersectional lens contextualizes a unique paradox for Black women: the fear of unjust harm to their partners through an overzealous and racially motivated police response and the simultaneous sense of futility in a justice system that may not sufficiently prioritize IPV/SV. This study draws attention to structural race and gender inequities in the urban public safety environment that shape IPV/SV outcomes. Race-based inequity undermines women’s safety and access to justice and pits women’s safety against community priorities of averting police contact and disproportionate incarceration. A social determinants framework is valuable for understanding access to justice for IPV/SV. Enhancing access to justice for IPV/SV requires overcoming deeply entrenched racial discrimination in the justice sector, and historical minimization of violence against women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Urban Health
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Police
Violence
Sex Offenses
police
sexual violence
violence
human being
gender
Social Justice
justice
contact
Safety
Fear
community
Medical Futility
anxiety
Racism
Baltimore
Intimate Partner Violence
Crime

Keywords

  • Disparities
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Police
  • Sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

“You Do Not Think of Me as a Human Being” : Race and Gender Inequities Intersect to Discourage Police Reporting of Violence against Women. / Decker, Michele R; Holliday, Charvonne N; Hameeduddin, Zaynab; Shah, Roma; Miller, Janice; Dantzler, Joyce; Goodmark, Leigh.

In: Journal of Urban Health, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1f9b1375a4c04744a421fc3b8fccc4c5,
title = "“You Do Not Think of Me as a Human Being”: Race and Gender Inequities Intersect to Discourage Police Reporting of Violence against Women",
abstract = "Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are drivers of women’s morbidity and mortality in urban environments yet remain among the most underreported crimes in the USA. We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with women who experienced past-year IPV or SV, to explore structural and community influences on police contact in Baltimore, MD. Results indicate that gender-based and race-based inequities intersected at the structural and community levels to discourage women from police contact following IPV/SV. Structural influences on police reporting included police discriminatory police misconduct, perceived lack of concern for citizens, power disparities, fear of harm from police, and IPV/SV-related minimization and victim-blaming. Community social norms of police avoidance discouraged police contact, enforced by stringent sanctions. The intersectional lens contextualizes a unique paradox for Black women: the fear of unjust harm to their partners through an overzealous and racially motivated police response and the simultaneous sense of futility in a justice system that may not sufficiently prioritize IPV/SV. This study draws attention to structural race and gender inequities in the urban public safety environment that shape IPV/SV outcomes. Race-based inequity undermines women’s safety and access to justice and pits women’s safety against community priorities of averting police contact and disproportionate incarceration. A social determinants framework is valuable for understanding access to justice for IPV/SV. Enhancing access to justice for IPV/SV requires overcoming deeply entrenched racial discrimination in the justice sector, and historical minimization of violence against women.",
keywords = "Disparities, Intimate partner violence, Police, Sexual violence",
author = "Decker, {Michele R} and Holliday, {Charvonne N} and Zaynab Hameeduddin and Roma Shah and Janice Miller and Joyce Dantzler and Leigh Goodmark",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s11524-019-00359-z",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Urban Health",
issn = "1099-3460",
publisher = "Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - “You Do Not Think of Me as a Human Being”

T2 - Race and Gender Inequities Intersect to Discourage Police Reporting of Violence against Women

AU - Decker, Michele R

AU - Holliday, Charvonne N

AU - Hameeduddin, Zaynab

AU - Shah, Roma

AU - Miller, Janice

AU - Dantzler, Joyce

AU - Goodmark, Leigh

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are drivers of women’s morbidity and mortality in urban environments yet remain among the most underreported crimes in the USA. We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with women who experienced past-year IPV or SV, to explore structural and community influences on police contact in Baltimore, MD. Results indicate that gender-based and race-based inequities intersected at the structural and community levels to discourage women from police contact following IPV/SV. Structural influences on police reporting included police discriminatory police misconduct, perceived lack of concern for citizens, power disparities, fear of harm from police, and IPV/SV-related minimization and victim-blaming. Community social norms of police avoidance discouraged police contact, enforced by stringent sanctions. The intersectional lens contextualizes a unique paradox for Black women: the fear of unjust harm to their partners through an overzealous and racially motivated police response and the simultaneous sense of futility in a justice system that may not sufficiently prioritize IPV/SV. This study draws attention to structural race and gender inequities in the urban public safety environment that shape IPV/SV outcomes. Race-based inequity undermines women’s safety and access to justice and pits women’s safety against community priorities of averting police contact and disproportionate incarceration. A social determinants framework is valuable for understanding access to justice for IPV/SV. Enhancing access to justice for IPV/SV requires overcoming deeply entrenched racial discrimination in the justice sector, and historical minimization of violence against women.

AB - Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) are drivers of women’s morbidity and mortality in urban environments yet remain among the most underreported crimes in the USA. We conducted 26 in-depth interviews with women who experienced past-year IPV or SV, to explore structural and community influences on police contact in Baltimore, MD. Results indicate that gender-based and race-based inequities intersected at the structural and community levels to discourage women from police contact following IPV/SV. Structural influences on police reporting included police discriminatory police misconduct, perceived lack of concern for citizens, power disparities, fear of harm from police, and IPV/SV-related minimization and victim-blaming. Community social norms of police avoidance discouraged police contact, enforced by stringent sanctions. The intersectional lens contextualizes a unique paradox for Black women: the fear of unjust harm to their partners through an overzealous and racially motivated police response and the simultaneous sense of futility in a justice system that may not sufficiently prioritize IPV/SV. This study draws attention to structural race and gender inequities in the urban public safety environment that shape IPV/SV outcomes. Race-based inequity undermines women’s safety and access to justice and pits women’s safety against community priorities of averting police contact and disproportionate incarceration. A social determinants framework is valuable for understanding access to justice for IPV/SV. Enhancing access to justice for IPV/SV requires overcoming deeply entrenched racial discrimination in the justice sector, and historical minimization of violence against women.

KW - Disparities

KW - Intimate partner violence

KW - Police

KW - Sexual violence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067838249&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85067838249&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11524-019-00359-z

DO - 10.1007/s11524-019-00359-z

M3 - Article

C2 - 31214974

AN - SCOPUS:85067838249

JO - Journal of Urban Health

JF - Journal of Urban Health

SN - 1099-3460

ER -