For Black women in government, highlighting threats and abuse can make it worse

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Candice Norwood:

I and my reporting partners, Chloe Jones and Lizz Bolaji, spoke with 18 women in politics, Black women in politics at all levels of government, and 17 of them recounted similar experiences with verbal abuse and physical threats.

Kiah Morris is a former Vermont legislator who suffered years of harassment and finally resigned in 2018. At the time, she and her husband lived in his childhood home and decided to move for safety concerns to a different city. But even in that new city and that new home, their now 10-year-old son built a panic room-type space, remembering the kind of the experiences they had back in their previous city.

And it’s not just physical threats. It’s also verbal abuse. And these women recounted experiencing a daily barrage of these verbal attacks.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby recounted an experience listening to a voice-mail that was sent to her that was laced with expletives and racial slurs. And we actually have a clip that we’re going to play now.

And a warning to our viewers: It does contain strong language.

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