Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 352-366

First online:

A Case for Including the “Lived Experience” of African American Men in Batterers’ Treatment

  • Samuel R. AymerAffiliated withHunter College School of Social Work Email author 

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Influenced by the national attention that followed the violent episode between pop superstar Rihanna and hip-hop artist Chris Brown, this article explores the importance of including the psychosocial experiences of disenfranchised African American men in traditional intervention programs for batterers. The article provides an overview of how intimate partner violence affects African American women and discusses how racialized stereotypical images of this group—as promulgated by society, hip-hop and rap music—contribute to men’s sexist attitudes. The construct of race-related stress is discussed, highlighting the multiple ways in which men—particularly those who batter—are affected by racial oppression. Finally, implications for practice are suggested, highlighting how the confluence of gender oppression, race, racism, and patriarchy shapes African American men’s (especially poor and uneducated individuals) social construction of masculinity.


Batterers Domestic violence and cultural contexts Intervention Intimate partner violence Treatment