In recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, ADC is standing in solidarity with survivors and speaking out against all forms Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence. As the largest and oldest Arab-American Civil Rights Organization in the nation, Power-based violence and gender equity are pervasive issues in Arab and American communities, and it is our duty to advocate on behalf of these issues.
While still chronically underreported, estimates show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking. Often misunderstood, Domestic Violence covers a broad range of actions, including: willful intimidation; physical assault; battery; sexual assault; and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. Additionally, yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats, and isolation also fall under intimate partner violence. These experiences affect millions from every race, gender, religion, culture, and status.
Moreover, this challenge disproportionately impacts women of color and immigrant communities, including Arabs. Despite not discriminating based on wealth or level of education, it is true that when a person has limited job resources, language barriers, and fear of deportation, their chance of suffering from domestic violence increases, as does their difficulty in finding support services.
Like so many other women, Arab females tend to be reluctant to report domestic violence because of fears that it reinforces flawed stereotypes of Arab Male violence. Additionally, it is frowned upon to expose private turmoil within family matters. Family reputation tends to be prioritized over individual safety in fear of rejection and isolation from family, friends, and the community.
According to a study by Michigan’s Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), an alarming 48% of community members know someone who have been a victim of domestic violence. To combat instances epidemic in our community, ACCESS has developed various programs to foster youth leadership, train bystanders, and to challenge gender norms.
If you or someone you know are in crisis, contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or https://www.thehotline.org/ Please visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website at https://www.ncadv.org/ for more fact sheets, membership information, and valuable resources.
ADC is honored to work with organizations like ACCESS in building equitable and peaceful communities. For more information on ACCESS’s research and programing, please visit: https://www.accesscommunity.org/node/320