October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October 23 is the second annual National Day of Action to End Violence Against Women Living with HIV.
Nationally, 1 out of 3 women will experience violence or abuse at the hands of an intimate partner in her lifetime. Among women living with HIV, that figure is a shocking 1 out of 2–and goes all the way up to 3 out of 4 when other types of abuse are included. 30% of women living with HIV also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)–5 times the rate in the general female population.
Women and girls with a history of violence, abuse and trauma are at higher risk of acquiring HIV. The effects of stigma, HIV criminalization laws, discrimination and economic insecurity leave HIV+ women more vulnerable to abusive relationships. Some have faced violence and even murder after disclosing their HIV status.
The problem is real, and it is severe. But there are solutions–and raising awareness is key. That’s where you come in! Click here for more information and ways you can get involved and be part of the solution.