"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

- Howard Thurman

As we continue to observe Black History Month, here’s an important reflection on Black history and how it inextricably intersects with our work.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of Black achievements and the central role African Americans play in our country’s history. As a feminist organization, we stand alongside all Black leaders and Black-led organizations dedicated to ending violence and creating a just, more loving and equitable world.

Did you know Black women leaders have been at the forefront of our movement, like Ida B. Wells, Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Loretta Ross, Harriet Jacobs, Tarana Burke and many more?

You can learn about their amazing accomplishments by clicking here.

Even as we recognize these achievements, we must also engage in critical, if uncomfortable, conversations about the ongoing impact of racism in our society. The legacy of racial discrimination and intergenerational economic disempowerment has resulted in much higher rates of violence for Black women as compared to their white, Asian and Hispanic counterparts.

Here are some troubling statistics:

Black Women Sexual and Domestic Violence Statistics

At HAWC, these statistics represent the very clients we serve, as more than half of all of our clients identify as Black.

As a result of both historic and present-day racism, Black women may also be less likely to report their abuser or seek help because of discrimination, vulnerability to police brutality, and negative stereotyping.

Black women also face employment disparities, earning less than Black men and White men and women. This wage disparity limits available options and leaves many women, particularly mothers, feeling trapped in bad relationships where financial needs trump all.

That is why HAWC’s financial empowerment, housing and life skills programs are so critical in stopping this cycle of abuse.

This month and every month, let us all hold ourselves accountable to do what needs to be done to remedy this reality. We are here for survivors every step of the way.

Domestic Violence Hotline: (713) 528-2121
Sexual Assault Hotline: (713) 528-RAPE (7273)