Do You Need a Thought Leader for Your Next Event?

Dr. West is among the leading experts on gender-based violence in the lives of Black women.

See Dr. West Curriculum Vitae for a complete list

See Dr. West’s work as Resident Fellow

Dr. West has authored more than 70 book chapters and journal articles.

Dr Carolyn West’s Book

Written from a Black feminist perspective by therapists, researchers, activists, and survivors, Violence in the Lives of Black Women sheds new light on an understudied field. For too long, Black women have been suffering the effects of violence in painful silence.

This book provides a forum where personal testimony and academic research meet to show you how living at the intersection of many kinds of oppression shapes the lives of Black women. With moving case studies, in-depth discussions of activism and resistance, and helpful suggestions for treatment and intervention, this book will help you understand the impact of violence on the lives of Black women.

Carolyn Payton Early Career Award

Violence in the Lives of Black Women: Battered, Black, and Blue has been named the winner of the 2004 Carolyn Payton Early Career Award. This honor, sponsored by Section One (Psychology of Black Women) of the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35), is awarded to recognize the achievements of a Black woman in the early stages of her career. Violence in the Lives of Black Women won the award for creativity and for making a major contribution to the understanding of the role of gender in the lives of Black women.

Book Reviews

“This book should be read by all healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, clinic staff, researchers in the family social sciences, program administrators, and probably the police and court personnel as well as community workers and helpers in all settings. The book is important for anyone, including interested laypersons, who want to understand an unacknowledged problem or who want to increase their cultural sensitivity. This is an important book that belongs in our libraries.”

Marcie Parker
Journal of Comparative Family Studies (2004)

“This book is noteworthy because it moves beyond the terrible toll of violence to catalogue Black women’s strengths and resilience. Liberally illustrated with quotes from literature and song, the book is a must read for anyone concerned with increasing their cultural competency.”

Mary P. Koss, PH.D.
Professor, Public Health, Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychology at the  University of Arizona

“The book has a very strong emphasis on intervention strategies that will be useful to therapeutic practitioners as well as survivors of intimate violence—A fresh approach.”

Traci C. West, PH.D.
Author of Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Resistance Ethics

Dr. West is the granddaughter of sharecroppers and has been inspired to create work that heals intergenerational trauma.

Selected Publications

Intimate Partner Violence

2022 Intersectionality and intimate partner violence in the Black community. In R. Geffner, J. W. White, L. K. Hamberger, A. Rosenbaum, V. Vaughan-Eden, & V. I. Vieth (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal violence and abuse across the lifespan: A project of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan (NPEIV) (pp. 2705-2733). New York: Springer Nature.

2021 Introduction to Special Double Issue: Domestic Violence in Black Communities. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 30(6), 707-713.

2021 Widening the lens: Expanding the research on intimate partner violence in Black communities.  Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma, 30(6), 749-760.

2021 Domestic Violence Through a Caribbean Lens Historical Context Theories Risks and Consequences Published Copy: Historical context, theories, risks, and consequences. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, and Trauma.

2020 The intersections of race and immigration. In A. Messinger & X. L. Guadalupe-Diaz (Eds.), Transgender Intimate Partner Violence: A Comprehensive Introduction (pp. 133-166). New York: New York University Press.

2019 Toward an ecological model of violence among African Americans In W. S. DeKeseredy, C. Rennison, & A. Sanchez (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies (pp. 190-209). New York: Routledge.

2018 Crucial Considerations in the understanding and treatment of IPV in African American couples In R. A. Javier & W. Herron (Eds.), Understanding Domestic Violence: Theories, Challenges, Remedies (pp. 213-235). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

2018 Treatment interventions for intimate partner violence in the lives of African American women In S. Gelberg, M. Poteet, D. D. Moore, & D. Coyhis (Eds).Radical Psychology: Multicultural and Social Justice Decolonization Initiatives (pp. 89-110). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

2018 Institutional strategies to promote the health of Black women survivors of intimate partner violence Meridians: Feminism, race, transnationalism, 16(2), 276-285.

2016 African Immigrant women and intimate partner violence Journal of Aggression Maltreatment and Trauma, 25(1), 4-17.

2016 Prevalence and factors associated with severe physical intimate partner violence among Black women, 22(6), 651-670.

2016 Living in a web of trauma An ecological exam of violence among African Americans In C. C. Cuevas & C. M. Rennison (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook on the Psychology of Violence (pp. 649-665). Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

2016 Hidden in plain sight Structural inequalities and invisible violence in the lives of African American women (pp. 85-102). In L. Wilton & E. Short (Eds.), Talking about Structural Inequalities in Everyday Life: New Politics of Race in Groups, Organizations, and Social Systems. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

2012 Partner abuse in ethnic minority and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender populations Partner Abuse, 3(3), 336-357.


Sexual Assault

2013 Sexual Violence in the Lives of African American Women Harrisburg, PA: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence/Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

2010 Resistance as recovery winning a sexual harassment complaint In A. White (Ed.), African Americans doing feminism: Putting theory into everyday practice (pp. 175-188). New York: State University of New York Press.

2000 Adult sexual revictimization among Black women sexually abused in childhood Child Maltreatment, 5(1), 49-57.


Images of Black Women

2018 Mammy, Sapphire, Jezbel and the bad girls of reality television In J. Chrisler and C. Golden (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (5th ed.) (pp. 139-158). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.

2009 Still on the auction block The sexploitation of Black adolescent girls in rap music and hip hop culture In S. Olfman (Ed.), The sexualization of childhood (pp. 89-102). Westport, CT: Praeger Press.

2008 Mammy, Jezebel, Sapphire, and their homegirls: Developing an “oppositional gaze” toward the images of Black women. In J. Chrisler, C. Golden, & P. Rozee (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (4th ed., pp. 286-299). New York: McGraw Hill.

2004 Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire: Developing an “oppositional gaze” toward the images of Black women. In J. Chrisler, C. Golden, & P. Rozee (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (3rd ed., pp 236-252). New York: McGraw-Hill.

2000 Developing an “oppositional gaze” toward the images of Black women. In J. Chrisler, C. Golden, & P. Rozee (Eds.), Lectures on the psychology of women (2nd ed., pp. 220-233). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

1995 Mammy, Sapphire, and Jezebel: Historical images of Black women and their implications for psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 32(2), 458-466.