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Centers of Must: Supporting Black Women Today and Every Day

Survivors of domestic violence need our support. Luckily there are victim services providers, healthcare providers, welfare services providers, and many other people and organizations that exist to support survivors of DV and their children when they need it most. These entities are called Centers of Must because of their obligation to help survivors and their children.

However, while Centers of Must are in place specifically to support survivors, they don't always have the systems in place to meet the unique needs of Black women. These are often white-led, white-run entities that, while they may have personal experience when it comes to domestic violence, do not have the lived experience of being Black.

As Centers of Must, here are some steps that you can take to better serve the Black women accessing your services:

  1. Learn to understand the language of Black Women: If you aren't used to working with Black survivors of DV, you could easily misinterpret certain behaviors or body language. Be open to the idea that Black survivors may express their feelings differently than you're used to. But this doesn't mean that their experiences are any less traumatic.

  2. Respect Cultural Differences: Understand that cultural factors can influence Black survivors willingness to seek help or share about their experiences. Respect these differences and incorporate them into how you support Black survivors.

  3. Partner with Black Led Organizations: We do better when we know better. And often the best way to do better is to listen to and learn from the people we're trying to serve. Working with Black led organizations, like Courageous Fire LLC, will give you the specific tools you need to serve the Black women who are accessing your services.

Is your organization looking to do more to serve Black DV survivors? Centers of Must trainings are an excellent place to start! These trainings are designed specifically for organizations like yours that are already doing the important work of supporting DV survivors and want to increase their competency when it comes to serving Black women. Let's take the work you're doing to the next level to better serve the Black women who need you most.

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