The Neglected Epidemic of Missing BIPOC Women and Girls

Meeting Notes: 
The hearing will convene in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building and over Zoom, which has been approved by the House.
Date: 
Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 10:00am
Location: 
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
“The Neglected Epidemic of Missing BIPOC Women and Girls”

Chairman Jamie Raskin's Opening Statement [PDF]

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney's Opening Statement [PDF]

Washington D.C. (February 28, 2022)—On Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, will hold a hybrid hearing to examine the disproportionate rates by which BIPOC—Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—women and girls go missing, the disparate treatment their cases receive by law enforcement and the media, and potential solutions to address this crisis.

 

This silent epidemic is affecting hundreds of thousands of Black, Brown, and Indigenous women and girls across the country.  In 2020, 40% of all women and girls reported missing were people of color—100,000 out of 250,000 missing—despite making up just 16% of the population.  The disproportionate rate of missing Black and Indigenous women and girls can be attributed to a variety of factors, including higher rates of intimate partner violence against BIPOC women than white women.

 

Missing Black, Brown, and Indigenous women and girls also rarely receive the same amount of attention by law enforcement and the media as white women and girls.  Empirical studies have identified “missing white woman syndrome”—a phenomenon in which white women are given vastly higher levels of media attention than women of color.  And while white women are often treated as vulnerable victims by both law enforcement and the media, BIPOC women are frequently viewed as responsible for their situations.

 

The full scope of the problem is impossible to measure due to a lack of comprehensive and consistent data regarding missing BIPOC women and girls.  In fact, there is no data on missing Hispanic or Latino women, as their cases are captured under the “White” demographic.  To address this problem, federal and state governments must step up to address gaps in care, protection, and data collection.  Congress must also act to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2021, pass the Protect Black Women and Girls Act, and fund the full implementation of the Ashanti Alert Act.

 

 

MEDIA: 

Per the Office of the Attending Physician’s (OAP) guidelines, and in consultation with the Architect of the Capitol, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Sergeant at Arms, and the Committee on House Administration, the hearing room has been reconfigured to provide for social distancing.  In light of current guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OAP, all members of the press must wear must properly fitted, medical-grade, filtration face masks (KN95 or N95 masks) masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.

 

The Committee strongly recommends that members of the media view the hearing proceedings remotely.  Seating in the hearing room is extremely limited and as a result, credentialed media must RSVP to the Oversight Committee Democrats Press Office at  oversightpress@mail.house.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on March 2, 2022. 

 

WITNESSES

Mr. John Bischoff, III
Vice President, Missing Children Division, on behalf of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Ms. Angel Charley
Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women

Ms. Pamela Foster
Mother of Missing Child

Ms. Patrice Onwuka
Director, Center for Economic Opportunity, Independent Women's Forum

Mr. Shawn Wilkinson
Father of Missing Child

Ms. Natalie Wilson
Co-Founder, Black and Missing Foundation

117th Congress