SAN ANTONIO – One in 3 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. It's a statistic that's commonly reported, but the rate for African American women is even higher.
“You do not get up and beat the person you love. There is something wrong with that scenario,” said Stacey Groomes, president of the San Antonio chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women organization advocates on behalf of African American women and communities with health, economic, education and political initiatives.
The organization's health initiative includes domestic violence. One main reason is that black women suffer domestic abuse at disproportionate rates.
A report from the National Center for Victims of Crime found that 53.8% of black women had experienced psychological abuse, and 41.2% of black women had experienced physical abuse. Black women are also killed at a higher rate than any other group.
"Domestic violence or teen violence is usually replicated because they've seen it somewhere else. They've seen it in the home," Groomes said.
That's why Groomes believes it's essential to focus on younger generations, creating change and awareness at an early age. The organization's targets are teens and college-age young adults.
"One of our initiatives is economic empowerment. That applies. If you cannot separate from the person you have the violence with, you're stuck," Groomes said. "The best way to deal with this is to educate. Our response is to educate and partner."
That is precisely what the organization is doing at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 13, by hosting a virtual seminar on the mental health and legal perspectives of teen dating violence. The event will feature local advocacy leaders, judges and a college mental health professional.
The organization has two chapters in the state in San Antonio and Dallas. Saturday’s seminar can be accessed through the Dallas chapter’s YouTube page.
"Anyone can tune in," Groomes said. "You do not have to sign in and give your information. If you are in a domestic violence relationship, we don't want you to have to self identify."
The public is encouraged to ask questions and participate in the chat throughout the seminar.
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline number 1-800-799-7233 or text 1-800-787-3224.
There is also a long list of local resources, including the shelter, on KSAT’s domestic violence webpage.