Older African American Women and Barriers to Reporting Domestic Violence to Law Enforcement in the Rural Deep South

By: Bronwen Lichtenstein and Ida M. Johnson. Published by: Women & Criminal Justice. Published on: August 7, 2009

Link to article

“Victims of domestic violence are legally entitled to police protection, but multiple barriers exist in contacting law enforcement. In this study, we used Federal Bureau of Investigation data, key informant interviews, and focus groups to examine barriers to reporting domestic violence among older African American women in the rural Deep South. Three primary barriers were identified: gender roles, age dependency, and mistrust of law enforcement. The main finding was that reports of domestic violence were deterred by fears of being stigmatized by church, family, and community. The one compelling and feasible resolution is for law enforcement to take a leadership role in educating clergy and other community leaders about domestic violence as a crime against older women.” (abstract)

Categories: Domestic Violence, Family, Family, Legal Aid Attorneys, Researchers and Academics, Rural, Rural, State-Specific, Victims of Crime

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