New Jersey is the Most Dangerous State in the Country if You’re a Black Woman
Given that it ranks lowest out of all 50 states in a recent research on violent crime, New Jersey is frequently seen as a safe state. This does not imply that security and safety are equally available to all residents of New Jersey, though. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New Jersey is really the most deadly state in the nation for Black women.
The Disparity in Homicide Rates
According to CDC data, New Jersey’s Black women’s homicide rate in 2021 was 9.7 per 100,000, more than five times higher than the 1.8 per 100,000 national average. This indicates that the likelihood of a Black woman being killed in New Jersey is five times higher than that of a Black woman in New York and fifteen times higher than that of a White woman in the same state.
The difference in the rates of homicide is not specific to New Jersey. Black women are more likely than women of other races and ethnicities to die in the United States. Despite making up only 13% of all women, Black women accounted for 22% of all female homicide victims in 2018, according to the Violence Policy Center. Most of these killings were carried out by acquaintances of the victim, frequently a close companion.
The Factors Behind the Violence
Numerous variables, including racism, sexism, poverty, lack of access to social services, health care, and education, as well as stress and trauma exposure, all play a part in the violence against Black women. Due to a cycle of oppression and vulnerability created by these conditions, Black women are more likely to experience abuse and homicide.
The absence of gun control regulations in New Jersey is one of the variables that could account for the state’s highest rate of Black woman homicides. Despite having some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, New Jersey is a hotspot for the illegal trafficking of firearms from nearby states with laxer rules. This facilitates the acquisition of firearms by criminals and abusers for use against their victims.
The absence of police accountability and reform in New Jersey could also be a cause. New Jersey has a history of police corruption and brutality, particularly against Black populations, despite its progressive image. Black persons in New Jersey were more than three times more likely than White people to be the target of police force, according to a 2020 state attorney general study. The study also discovered that inadequate supervision, openness, and training were present in many police agencies.
The Need for Action and Change
There is a public health emergency resulting from the high homicide rate of Black women in New Jersey, and immediate action is needed. There are numerous actions that can be performed to deal with this problem, including:
- Strengthening the enforcement of existing gun laws and closing the loopholes that allow illegal firearms to enter the state.
- Implementing comprehensive police reform and accountability measures, such as banning chokeholds, requiring body cameras, and creating independent review boards.
- Increasing the funding and availability of domestic violence prevention and intervention programs, such as shelters, hotlines, counseling, and legal services.
- Supporting the empowerment and leadership of Black women in all sectors of society, such as politics, education, business, and media.
- Raising awareness and education about the root causes and consequences of violence against Black women, and challenging the stereotypes and stigma that devalue and dehumanize them.
By implementing these changes, New Jersey may become a more just and safe place for all of its citizens, particularly for Black women who ought to live without fear of violence.