June 25, 2020

Day 11: Domestic Violence & Racism

DAY 11 Of YWCA Spokane’s 14-Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge

We hope this challenge provides you with an opportunity to better understand concepts related to race, power, privilege, and leadership.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Thank you for taking this challenge! If this is your first day of joining us for the 14-day equity challenge, welcome. If you are returning after previous engagement with the challenge, nice work! We are glad you are here. From Monday, June 15th through Sunday, June 28th, YWCA Spokane will send, those who sign up for our challenge, daily emails prompting you to take time to learn about racial equity and social justice.

We encourage you to take note of any insights in a daily log or diary. Consider setting aside time to talk with friends about what you have learned and how the topics introduced impact our community. Invite your network to join you on this challenge and share on social media with #ywcaequitychallenge. Thank you for participating!

DAY 11: Domestic Violence & Racism

Domestic violence is a major public health issue for women, in particular, women of color. The intersection of domestic violence and institutional racism compounds the victimization of African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, immigrant, and other women of color as they try to break out of cycles of violence. 

Facts About Domestic Violence & African American Women

According to the Institute on Domestic Violence in The African American Community, black women are three times more likely to die as a result of intimate partner violence than white women. Pregnant black women are eleven times more likely to die due to domestic violence than pregnant white women.  Acknowledging this reality in no way negates the existence of domestic violence against white women.  It does, however, help us to see a more full picture of the compounded experience for black women in our country.

As shared by Meggie Royer, Women’s Advocates’ Education & Outreach Coordinator, “Yes, we must advocate for all survivors and victims of domestic violence. But we cannot take race out of the equation, because taking race out of the equation is killing black women. We can and should advocate for all survivors and victims, we need to, but when we respond with immediate contempt to the racial injustices that are pointed out to us, we are only advocating for some survivors and victims.”

Compounded Issues of Racism & Domestic Violence In Spokane

This issue is prevalent in our own community. Brit, YWCA Spokane Domestic Violence Advocate, shares in the below video how racism can magnify the situation for survivors here in Spokane. 

Violence Against Indigenous Women

Violence against American Indian/Alaskan Native women is exceedingly high. “American Indian women living on Indian reservations experience unique challenges that intensify the epidemic of violence against them,” as stated by Futures Without Violence. “Accurate statistical data quantifying incidences of violence against women on reservations, or ‘Indian country’, is in small quantity. Comprehensive data on violence against women under tribal jurisdiction does not exist since no federal or Indian agency nor organization systematically collects this information.”

According to the Coalition To Stop Violence Against Native Women, 4 out of 5 Native women are affected by violence today. There is currently a crisis regarding adequate data collection regarding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).  For example, 5,712 cases of MMIWG were reported in 2016 yet only 116 were logged in the Department of Justice database. To learn more view a report by the Urban Indian Health Institute.

Domestic Violence and Immigrant Survivors

Immigrant survivors of domestic violence, especially those who are also people of color, face unique challenges due to issues such as racism and xenophobia which can impact their available options for support. A common experience among survivors who are immigrants is a fear of contacting authority or accessing legal resources due to the threat of deportation for themselves or for a loved one. Abusive partners of immigrants are likely to utilize this fear to exert power and control over their partner. Threats may be made of deportation of her and/or her children, intentional withdrawal of paperwork to jeopardize legal status, not allowing their partner to learn English, and isolation from anyone that speaks their native language. 

Additionally, many immigrants face language and cultural barriers on top of trying to navigate a complex immigration system. Recent rhetoric and restrictions regarding immigration have made the last few years particularly difficult for immigrant families experiencing violence in their homes. View the Immigrant Power & Control Wheel detailing forms of abuse partners use against immigrants.

If you have…

5 Minutes


10 Minutes


30 Minutes

and and
Read this article 
about black women experiencing domestic abuse and Coronavirus quarantines as life threatening.
and Read this report 
from advocates revealing Immigrant survivors fears about reporting violence.
and Listen to this podcast
from The Takeaway that discusses the intersections of immigration and domestic violence.


BONUS: If you want to learn more about the experiences of immigrants in general, check out this collection of “choose your own adventure” style simulations. The characters are composites of real stories of immigrants from all over the world and various points in American history.

Daily Reflection

Once you have completed today’s challenge, take a moment to reflect on any insights you experienced. How did the challenge make you feel? What is something you learned? Did you notice anything about yourself after taking the challenge? Consider sharing this new awareness with a friend or group to help deepen your understanding of the information. Consider tracking your reflections on the below daily log or start an online group with friends to encourage daily sharing with each other about the challenge topics.

Challenge Reflection Log

Share each challenge online with #YWCAEquityChallenge

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9 | DAY 10 | DAY 11 | DAY 12 | DAY 13 | DAY 14

Do you have resources you think we should share? Any insights you would like to share with us? We welcome you to leave your comments here. Thank you!

By: Rachel Dannen

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