Domestic Violence: Are Black Women Victimized More?

A portrait of a family, with the father in front and the mother and daughter in the backgroundDomestic violence, or intimate partner violence, against black women, has a major impact on their health. Higher rates of abused victims are reported in black women compared to white women, and often result in many dangerous and shocking health symptoms.

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In communities where limited resources are available such as transportation, employment opportunities, affordable medical care, social and mental health services, homeless and domestic violence shelters, police protection, and legal services, African American women tend to stay with their abusive partners.

  • Women in abusive relationships are at higher risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases and higher rates of vaginal bleeding and infection.
  • Mostly due to a lower salary scale among African Americans, black women receive less alimony/child support after divorce compared to their Caucasian counterparts, and as a result return to their abusive partners.
  • Cultural norms among violently-abused black women make leaving their partners difficult. Often, attempts to leave are, initially, not successful.

When it comes to domestic violence and black women, it is vital to screen for domestic violence victims in outpatient clinics and intervene with behavior therapy like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that initiates their cognition, consciousness and self-evaluation. Health care providers need to increase their awareness of the limitations of an abused patient’s ability to seek help and also focus on their health maintenance regimen.

Experts have identified five cognitive steps that may help black women evaluate their abusive situations and increase their ability to change that situation:

Non-acknowledgment (pre-contemplation). Many victims of domestic violence have isolated themselves from the situation by denying the severity of it. This includes the common tendency of blaming themselves for the abuse, or being too afraid to act.

Acceptance (contemplation). With positive reinforcement, encouragement, and a solid support system, victims of domestic violence can better acknowledge the dangerous situation they are in, accept that the only person at fault is the abuser, take comfort in the fact that they are not alone, and that the abuse does not have to continue.

Thinking about other options (preparation). After accepting the seriousness of their situation and understanding that they deserve better, domestic violence victims need to formulate an actionable plan to make the abuse stop.

Ready to start actions (action). After putting their plan together, women suffering from domestic violence and their support system need to work together to help the woman leave the abusive situation. Subsequent steps should include continued mental health counseling, physical exams, and assistance in establishing healthy life patterns, including eating and fitness plans.

Intervention, using behavior modification,  may be the key to helping decrease domestic violence and end the cycle of abuse.

Are Men Faking It?

A couple wearing pajamas cuddling in bedWhile women are better known for faking that “big moment,” studies show that, actually, one in four men have faked an orgasm at some point as well.

Why? For both men and women, faking seems to be tied to relationship troubleshooting — namely how one is perceived during and after sex.

Why Men Bluff

There could be quite a few reasons that mean aren’t honest about their climax, including:

They just want to get it over with. Occasionally, men have sex with their partner for the partner’s sake — but since they aren’t really into it, they end up faking an orgasm. Or, it’s taking longer to orgasm than the man thinks it should, so they decide it’s better just to end it.

They’re covering up premature ejaculation. Some men pretend to have an orgasm as a front for premature ejaculation, says urologist Craig Niederberger, MD, FACS, head of the department of urology at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

They’re preserving their pride. For men who lose an erection during sex or sense they won’t be able to have an orgasm, it might be easier to fake the orgasm than to talk about why it didn’t occur.

They’re trying to be kind to their partner. A man faking an orgasm might be worried that his partner is uncomfortable due to the length of intercourse. He might also be concerned that his partner will feel hurt if they stop sex before the orgasm.

They think all sex must end with an orgasm. Some couples have a certain idea about how sexual intercourse will play out. Researchers theorize that some men can’t think of another way for sex to end other than an earth-shattering orgasm, so they end up faking it if it doesn’t happen naturally.

Solving the Problem

Faking an orgasm every once in a while might not be a big deal, but if it’s happening on a regular basis, it may be time to get some help. Here are some ideas:

Talk to your doctor.
There are a number of medical conditions that can cause delayed orgasm, premature ejaculation, or difficulty maintaining an erection. But according to Dr. Niederberger, delayed orgasm is something of a subjective measure. “Is it 10 minutes? Or 20 minutes? It’s really up to the man and, of course, his partner,” he says. Bottom line: If it is taking you longer to reach orgasm than you or your partner would like, it’s okay to ask for help.

Talk to a therapist. Occasionally, faking orgasms is rooted in emotional issues. You might need a couples therapist or sex therapist to help you understand why you are having difficulty experiencing an authentic orgasm with your partner.

Masturbate. Self-stimulation is recommended to help you discover what stimulates you. Next, share this information with your partner.

Cut back on alcohol or illicit drugs. Men are more likely to fake an orgasm when under the influence, likely due to the fact that substance abuse affects sexual performance.

There’s no need to fake it. Instead, get to the root of the problem — it will lead to a more satisfying sex life for both you and your partner.