The Connection Between Domestic Violence and HIV
By Candace Y.A. Montague
October 18, 2010
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used by someone to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. It happens between people who are, or have been, in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence often includes the threat or actual use of violence. It happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another. In 2009, 4,796 people were served at the two Domestic Violence Intake Center locations in DC. The way it can lead to HIV infection is commonly through sexual abuse.
The basis of many domestic violence cases is gender-based biases that oppress women and prevent them from protecting their sexual health. These inequalities directly and indirectly lead to the spread of the virus.
To see a list of other ways that domestic violence can put a victim at risk for HIV, click here.
There are many resources and places in DC to get help with domestic violence including shelters. No woman, regardless of her financial, living situation or HIV status, has to suffer from violence. The Metropolitan Police Department is a great place to start. Click here to see what they can do for you. If you need help finding shelter, resources, or legal advice, click here.
If you're looking to get involved, check out The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Get help if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence. Love doesn't hurt.
D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner
Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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