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Sixty percent of Black women in an ongoing study reported they had been sexually assaulted by a Black man before they turned 18, according researchers at Black Women’s Blueprint.
Nationally, more than 300 women were surveyed in the study, and the organization hopes to survey a total of 700 women by March 2012. The group will announce its full findings at that time.
According to Farah Tanis, co-Founder of the New York-based organization and co-author of the study, domestic and sexual abuse in the Black community often goes ignored, and the problem is only getting worse.
“A similar study that was conducted by Black Women’s Health Imperative seven years ago found that that number was about 40 percent,” Tanis told NewsOne. “So that means there is an increase and we need to stop neglecting that issue.”
According to the White House, young women between the ages of 16 to 24 suffer from the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. On Nov. 30, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vermont) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was first passed in 1994 by then-Senator Joseph Biden. The legislation helps states and local communities provide services for victims, develop specialized law enforcement units and works to strengthen prosecution of these crimes. The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped by more than 50 percent since VAWA was first passed, the White House reports.