Study Finds That Highly Educated Black Women Are More Likely Than Their Less Well Educated Black Peers to Be Victims of Domestic Abuse

Kameri Christy-McMullin, a white professor of social work at the University of Arkansas, recently completed a study of data from the National Crime Victimization Survey. She found that black women with a college education were considerably more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than black women who had not completed high school.

Professor Christy-McMullin believes that many black men are threatened by women who have a higher education than they do. In most of these cases, the women are the principal providers in the relationship. In order to reassert control over the relationship, black men may resort to physical abuse.

Another factor affecting the statistics, according to Christy-McMullin, is that black women with a lower education are less willing to report abuse. Many lower-income black women do not trust the police. They also may be reluctant to report the abuse for fear of sending their husbands to prison, which would result in the loss of an income producer for the family. Black women with a higher education are more financially independent and, for the most part, do not rely on their spouses for economic support. Therefore, they may be more willing to accept the possibility of life on their own.