Black Women In Chicago Share Their Fear Of Being A Victim of Violence
Black women in Chicago make up only 16% of the city’s population yet account for 25% of crime victims. Now, victims are speaking out on a problem they say the city has overlooked for far too long.
Statistics show that Black women are disproportionately targeted by violent crimes and have been for decades, CBS News reports. Of the 269,423 crimes reported in Chicago in 2022, Black women were the victims of 67,094..
“I don’t know if today’s the day they want to carjack me. I don’t know if today’s the day they want to rob me,” one woman told cbs news.
Sierra Jamison, 29, was among the 2022 victims after she was forced to fight off a man who tried to steal her 2018 Jeep Wrangler. The single mother, who has a 6-year-old son with autism, was filling her car with gas when a man with a knife approached her.
“He just said, ‘Bi*ch, give me your keys,'” Jamison recalled. “What made me say no? Because I observed him. I can tell that he wasn’t ready because he was flinching. He was nervous.”
Jamison’s response highlights the defenses she’s acquired in the city. Thankfully, there were two other women present who aided her. One pulled out a bat she had inside the trunk of her car.
“I said, ‘Give me your bat, give me your bat,” Jamison said.
Other eyewitnesses recalled the attacker camping out at the gas station for hours to find a victim. Jamison believes she was the intended target since she is a young Black woman.
“I guess he was feeling like I was gonna be vulnerable, be like get the key. But he got the wrong female,” she said.
Tragically, Jamison was found murdered in her garage next to her Jeep Wrangler in September 2023, one month after she shared her story.
Laura Irvine was riding the CTA Red Line train home with her daughter in August 2022 when she was attacked by a mob of robbers. Irvine was punched in the face and feared she might die during the attack.
“I have to take this train and honestly, I don’t feel comfortable getting back on that train,” she said. “I don’t feel safe.”
Niya Williams recalled being shot in the face by a man while inside her car after being verbally attacked by a group of men inside a Bronzeville restaurant.
“It was the biggest burn I ever felt. My teeth were blown out. I have no teeth on this side. I was spitting out bullets and teeth at the same time,” she said.
Williams, like many other Black women in Chicago, remains in constant fear for their life.
“I’m a lot traumatized now, because when night falls, it gets scary just out here in the world. Getting out to your car. Walking your dog,” she said.