Discussing domestic and sexual violence is difficult. It becomes especially problematic to discuss when considering race, social injustice and distrust of social systems. African-American women experience higher rates of domestic violence than their Caucasian counterparts, yet are less likely to seek services. In addition, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Justice statistics, African-American girls and women experience higher rates of rape and sexual assault than Caucasian, Asian and Latina girls and women.
SARA Roanoke, which seeks to tackle these topics head-on, is sponsoring a unique conference on Feb. 28 at the Roanoke Higher Education Center. Sponsored by the Earl D. and Carrie Leigh Doran Fund through the Community Foundation serving Western Virginia, Black Love Matters: Domestic Violence and Cultural Considerations Within the African-American Community will give participants the opportunity to explore the issues faced by survivors through a culturally sensitive lens. Keynote speaker, Ayana Wallace, Training Specialist for Ujima, Inc., the National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community in Washington, will present important information about historical trauma. Local speakers will address working with men, the significance of the church’s role in the African-American community and the importance of culturally specific therapy.
The conference is geared toward allied professionals and anyone seeking to enhance their understanding of the intersectionality of race and gender as it relates to interpersonal violence.
This event is free and lunch is provided. The registration deadline is Feb. 21. For more information, or to register, contact Dina Hackley-Hunt at (540) 345-7273.