Featured Speakers

IDVAAC extends special thanks to all of the speakers, participants, guests, volunteers, and others who helped make this event a phenomenal success.  We will post  presentations and other information from the event in the coming days. Please check back periodically for new information and updates. Thanks again for your support.


Domestic Violence and the Black Community: Unpacking the Significance of our Diversity

Many people have been challenged by how best to reconcile the distinct issues of ethnicity, culture, and social context among Black people. Within the United States, our community is diverse, comprising “historical” African Americans with a lineage of forefathers, kidnapped from Africa and those born in this country; people with diverse economic status and education; various members that are more recent African immigrants and refugees; and many persons of Caribbean and Afro-Latino ancestry, as well as other members of the Diaspora. There are those who encourage us to consider these distinctions when we consider how we expand or narrow our tent of community. Yet, expanding this tent is not always easy when we consider identity, cultural history, country of origin, socioeconomic status, acculturation and education. It is an additional challenge when one considers effective service delivery associated with issues such as domestic violence. Does it matter that these distinction matter within the helping process?

There are many who feel that a one-size-fits-all approach is not useful, by itself, in responding to people’s diverse ethnic identities or their social and cultural realities. Depending on a woman’s ethnicity, culture, and/or social context, she may be affected differently by intimate partner abuse. Likewise, she may also define safety differently and for some their immigration status may be a concern. Do we really know her story? Who is the most effective helper? What community does she return to after being helped? In addition, organized support systems within the United States, such as criminal justice systems and social service agencies, have affected various groups differently in understanding the problem of domestic violence in cultural context and responding to it appropriately. Men from various cultural groups who batter may share a common characteristic of being abusive toward women; however, they may use different methods and rationalizations – rooted in their ethnic and cultural identities – to explain the manifestation of their violent behaviors.

IDVAAC will explore these issues through its conference, Domestic Violence and the Black Community: Unpacking the Significance of our Diversity, to be convened August 13-14, 2012, in Norfolk, Virginia. Through a series of panel discussions, workshops, and presentations, IDVAAC will explore the diversity that exists within the Black community in terms of class, culture, ethnicity, and social context. Our overarching goal is to apply this information toward developing more effective approaches aimed at serving and supporting battered Black women and their families from all facets of our community. Featured panelists and guests will include: scholars and researchers who address various facets of intimate partner violence among various Black Americans; national thought leaders who address culture and social context in the Black community; practitioners – from the “historical” African American community, as well as African immigrant and refugee communities, and Latino and Caribbean Communities within the United States – who work with Black battered women; and other advocates, artists, and other stakeholders. IDVAAC is convening the conference in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Please join us for this important event.


Assembling the Pieces

Community Insights

Safe Return

Assembling the Pieces Online

Read stories about promising practices to address domestic violence, book/video reviews and meet scholars and practitioners focused on the issue of domestic violence.

Community Insights Initiative

Learn about what African American communities perceive to be the causes and consequences of domestic violence as well as useful strategies they identify to address domestic violence.

Safe Return Initiative

Learn about the intersection between domestic violence and prisoner re-entry and IDVAAC’s efforts to keep women safe – from the penitentiary to the community.

Supervised Visitation & Exchange

Learn about IDVAAC’s efforts to enhance the delivery to supervised visitation and exchange services to culturally-specific and culturally diverse communities using centers in cases involving domestic violence.