According to the National Crime Information Center, 268,884 girls and women were reported missing in the United States in 2020. More than 34% percent of those reported missing were Black, even though Black women and girls account for only 15% of the total U.S. population.
You wouldn’t know it from the media coverage, which often tends to focus attention on white women and girls who have gone missing. Some call this “missing white woman syndrome,” a term that gained renewed popularity during the disappearance of Gabby Petito in 2021.
The situation is especially pronounced in Wisconsin, which has been ranked the worst state in the country to raise Black children, with large racial disparities in health, education, and economic outcomes. Not to mention, the pandemic has exacerbated rates of domestic violence statewide and nationally.
That’s why Wisconsin State Representative Shelia Stubbs introduced a bill to create a state task force on Missing and Murdered African American Women. If passed during this legislative session, it could go into effect as early as next month.
Today on the show, we focus on the issue of violence against Black women with Nic Johnson, associate professor of counseling psychology at Lehigh University.
Then, Rep. Shelia Stubbs joins us to talk about her vision for the Missing and Murdered African American Women task force.
Cover photo courtesy of sheliastubbsforassembly.com