Project SAFE works to improve the services offered criminalized black women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
On any given day, black women in the United States are three times more likely than white women to be behind bars. And more than eight out of 10 black women engaged in the criminal justice system in the United States are survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
It's in response to statistics such as these that the Center for Court Innovation, Black Women’s Blueprint, the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and Rev. Dr. Cheryl Dudley of the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York created Project SAFE. The initiative provides targeted training and expert assistance to Office on Violence Against Women grantees working with criminalized black women who are also survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Project SAFE addresses the intersections of trauma, race, gender, and sexuality by acknowledging the needs of black women engaged in the justice system through enhanced trauma-informed responses and practices. Our training and technical assistance includes trauma-informed engagement, strategic planning, needs assessments, developing implementation strategies, and more.
Webinar: Specifying the Needs of Justice-Involved Black Women
Over the past twenty years, there has seen a significant rise in criminalized and incarcerated women in the United States, with women of color over-represented throughout the system. Research on justice system responses has shown that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective. For women defendants, it is especially critical that their needs are met in an individualized, gender-responsive way. This can be complicated further when the line between victim and defendant blurs, particularly in cases involving intimate partner violence and human trafficking.
The webinar below from January 2018 addresses the specific needs of justice-involved black women and outlines a series of best practices for people working with these populations. It also highlights the work of the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court in New York City and its Hidden Victims Project that works to identify victims of human trafficking and link them to services.
If you are interested in receiving training and technical assistance, please contact us. We also invite you to join our Project SAFE forum, a space for individuals and organizations engaged with the project to pose questions, share ideas, and discuss themes related to the work. The Center for Court Innovation moderates discussions and posts in this forum.