Disappearing Victims : Influences on Withdrawal from Order of Protection Services among Low-Income Black Females
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Low-income Black female domestic violence victims are significantly more likely to prematurely abandon legal services before receiving protection orders. To better understand factors influencing this behavior, a practicum was conducted through an internship with the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic of Chicago. The practicum included observations and reflections of the internship experience focused primarily on staff and victim interactions. Guided by Scheper-Hughes' and Bourgois's theory of the violence continuum, resulting influences were analyzed within the social structures of gender, race, and class. Recommendations were formulated for the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic addressing the resulting systemically violent factors, including adjustments to staff trainings of emotional labor, cultural sensitivity, and acknowledgement of subject positions.