Ain't I a Victim? The Intersectionality of Race, Class, and Gender in Domestic Violence and the Courtroom
Valparaiso University Law School
May 2, 2012
Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-06
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 55
Keywords: race, critical race theory, gender, courts, domestic violence
Date posted: May 2, 2012