BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A congressional committee held a hearing Thursday to discuss the “neglected epidemic” of missing women and girls of color.
In 2020, 40% of all missing women and children were black.
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The father of Akia Eggleston, the pregnant woman who went missing nearly five years ago, testified before a congressional committee that these types of missing persons cases get too little attention.
Even with a suspect behind bars, Eggleston’s family suffers daily pain because the bodies of Eggleston and her unborn child have not been found.
“How can you address the fact of Akia and Baby’s disappearance, domestic violence, and the subsequent murder investigation all in one breath?” said Shawn Wilkinson.
Akia disappeared when she was eight months pregnant.
Police arrested the father of her unborn child last month.
Members of the Civil Rights and Liberties Subcommittee and those who testified said these cases are often overlooked and do not receive adequate media attention.
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The subcommittee is chaired by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin.
“Missing people of color only get seven percent of national media coverage, and we can all name Gabby Petito, Natalie Holloway, Chandra Levy and many other white women who have disappeared, but can any of you name a person of color who did? getting national media coverage?” said Natalie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation.
They also said that sometimes these cases are not properly recorded.
“There’s really no data on what happened to them,” New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney said. “Nobody knows where they are. It’s just a shocking, almost unbelievable situation in this country and we need to do a much better job of helping these women and really documenting what’s happening.”
Akia’s father said it was time for a change.
“Support for Black and Indigenous people or people of color is needed now,” Wilkinson said. “We matter and deserve the same attention as white people.”
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MPs discussed ways to address this issue at Thursday’s hearing, including bills addressing violence against women and sex trafficking. Those are two things, the committee said, that strongly affect women and girls of color.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/03/akia-egglestons-father-testifies-at-hearing-on-neglected-epidemic-of-missing-women-and-girls-of-color/ Akia Eggleston’s father testifies at ‘neglected epidemic’ hearing of missing women and girls of color – CBS Baltimore