Confronting Racial Bias Against Black and African American Victims in the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Human Trafficking

April 2021

By AEquitas and The National Black Prosecutors Association


“Crimes involving sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking create immeasurable physical, emotional, and psychological harm to victims. Despite enhanced public awareness over the last three decades, victims of these frequently co-occurring crimes continue to encounter unique harms and barriers to safety and justice. Far too often, they are blamed for the crimes committed against them, while abusers escape accountability as the criminal justice system underestimates the danger they pose. To shift this unequal balance and work toward more just and meaningful dispositions, prosecutors have cultivated the technical, legal, and scientific proficiency necessary to properly evaluate evidence and prosecute these cases. Prosecutors understand the need for multidisciplinary collaboration, extra legal support for victims, and other research-informed practices that occur outside of plea, trials, and sentencing. Nevertheless, confronting racial bias when prosecuting sexual violence, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking, particularly against Black victims, is still a challenge for some, which results in significant barriers to reporting and inequitable outcomes for victims and their communities.”

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