Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Organizations Show Solidarity During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Week of Solidarity Campaign to highlight marginalized survivors, as well as connections to reproductive justice

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2019) – From October 14th, 2019 through October 18th, 2019, as a part of the October Domestic Violence Awareness month, reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates, and other social justice allies, will be launching a Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Week of Solidarity Campaign highlighting survivors from communities most often overlooked, as well as highlight/lift up the connection between IPV and Reproductive Justice. how IPV is connected to reproductive justice.

“Everyone deserves the chance to live a safe and healthy life, free from state and interpersonal violence,” said Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. “For too many, domestic and intimate partner violence is a devastating reality that creates challenging mental, financial and physical consequences.” 

“This Week of Solidarity lifts up one of the core values of Reproductive Justice–which is to ensure that all people can live in safe and healthy environments,” said Marcela Howell, Founder and President of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda. “Domestic and intimate partner violence removes that safety net and can influence a person’s reproductive and overall health, their decision to parent, or their ability to make decisions for themselves and their families. In Our Own Voice stands firm in the belief that we all have the human right to control our bodies, our sexuality, our gender, our work, and our reproduction.  We must be purposeful about centering the voices of the most marginalized people who are significantly impacted by this type of violence.”

There is a disparate impact of domestic and intimate partner violence on people of color, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and young people. For example:

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 percent of women and 15 percent of men reported experiencing intimate partner violence before the age of 18. 
  • 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women.
  • 26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men.
  • More than half transgender people report experiencing some form of intimate partner violence, including acts involving coercive control and physical harm.
  • A 2008 CDC study found that 39% of Native women surveyed identified as victims of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, a rate higher than any other race or ethnicity surveyed.
  • More than 40 percent of Black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, compared with 31.5 percent of all women.
  • Approximately 29.7 percent to 37.1 percent of Hispanic/Latina women have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 8.1 percent of Hispanic/Latina women experienced this violence in the previous 12 months.
  • Approximately 21 to 55 percent of AAPIs experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.


“We are proud to work with URGE and other allies to dismantle systemic barriers and deconstruct societal norms that deny Black women, from the African diaspora, self agency, self reliance, and self determination regarding their reproductive health and choices so they may live free from institutional violence and intimate partner violence,” said Megan Simmons, Senior Policy Attorney of Ujima,Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community.

“Far too many young people’s lives are drastically impacted by domestic, dating, and intimate partner violence. About one in five high school girls report having been verbally, physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by an intimate partner–and these rates are higher for LGBTQ+ youth and Black and Brown youth. As advocates for reproductive health, rights, and justice, we must work to end this epidemic of violence to achieve a world where young people are safe and have full autonomy over their lives and bodies,” added Sage Carson, Know Your IX Manager, Advocates for Youth. 

Advocate organizations have signed a letter of solidarity and calling for policies that promote greater opportunities for survivors of violence to minimize harm, achieve justice, and have healthy lives. Policies requests include those that  improve economic conditions for all people so they can have the financial flexibility to ensure safety, and support services for survivors that are responsive to the economic costs of violence, ending restrictions on birth control and abortion, which disproportionately affect those experiencing violence and do not want to become pregnant or continue a pregnancy, and reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Advocates are also calling for comprehensive sex education that includes discussion of healthy relationships and strong policies and procedures that ensure no young person will ever be pushed out of school because of violence.

“We are proud to join our partners in calling attention to the interconnectedness of domestic violence and reproductive justice. We know that we cannot effectively talk about one without acknowledging the other. Both of these issues, at their root, address the injustice of people—particularly marginalized groups—being stripped of their basic rights to bodily autonomy and safety,” said Christine Soyong Harley, President & CEO, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). “At SIECUS, we believe that sex education provides a powerful opportunity to explain these intersecting topics to young people across the country. If we can teach our young people to name and identify dynamics of violence, racism, and reproductive agency in age-appropriate, accurate, and inclusive ways, we can change a culture that has allowed reproductive injustice and domestic violence to go largely unchecked for far too long.”

For Immediate Release Contact: Lydia Stuckey

October 14, 2019 317-441-7740