Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Ain't I a Victim? The Intersectionality of Race, Class, and Gender in Domestic Violence and the Courtroom

55 Pages Posted: 2 May 2012  

Geneva Brown

Valparaiso University Law School

Date Written: May 2, 2012

Abstract

This Article provides a case study to illustrate the ways in which the legal system in the United States fails to address the needs of African-American women. The challenges that African-American women face are real but they arise in part because African-American women fall into the gap between feminist theory, which focuses on the experiences of white women, and race-based theory, which focuses on the perspective of African-American men. Race and feminist scholars have been inattentive to the peculiar difficulties that arise at the intersection of race, gender and economic hardship. The Article tells the story of one poor, African-American woman who could not get assistance from the court to which she petitioned for safety because the court viewed her testimony as imperceptible/invisible. By contrast, the court took notice of and engaged with her abuser. Her story illustrates the ways in which even those aspects of our legal system that are designed to protect vulnerable people can fail when those people reside at the intersection of race, gender and poverty.

Keywords: race, critical race theory, gender, courts, domestic violence

Suggested Citation

Brown, Geneva, Ain't I a Victim? The Intersectionality of Race, Class, and Gender in Domestic Violence and the Courtroom (May 2, 2012). Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2050083

Geneva Brown (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
271
Rank
93,753
Abstract Views
1,296