Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Contributed by Maria Elena Perez, Director of Community Mobilization

From KnowMoreSayMore.org:

Carollee started dating a 32-year-old man when she was 19. Things went well at first and they began to sleep together. She was on birth control pills, however, she noticed that whole rows of pills would disappear. When Carollee called her boyfriend on the disappearing birth control, he responded that he “knew” she wanted to have his child. Carollee also noticed that he was sabotaging the condoms, but didn’t bring it up. Shortly after they got together, Carollee became pregnant and her boyfriend began to monitor and control her more carefully.

Stories like these are not uncommon. I knew an immigrant woman who, every time she would enroll in English classes, would “all of a sudden” become pregnant. It’s not far fetched to think that her partner used pregnancy as a form of control. Previously, as a counselor for immigrant women survivors of violence, I bared witness to a lot of pain. And it was often that these women would speak about birth control sabotage, sexual coercion and rape, and forced abortions.

As we’re nearing the end of October, Domestic Violence Awareness month, I want to bring your attention to the connection between reproductive health and violence against women. Violence limits women’s ability to manage their reproductive health and is linked to reproductive health issues like STD and HIV transmission and miscarriages. Considering that at least one in every three women around the world has been beaten, sexually coerced or otherwise abused during her lifetime,[1] we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the reproductive health issues of women facing violence. 


The Family Violence Prevention Fund recently launched an initiative, kNOwMORE, looking at the intersection between reproductive health and violence against women. As part of the initiative, the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Guttmacher Institute hosted a roundtable discussion in September, “The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health,” and you can listen to segments of that discussion here.


And remember, by the time you finished reading this post; at least 4 women will have been abused by a partner across the United States.


Contributed by Maria Elena Perez, Director of Community Mobilization

[1] Heise, L., Ellsberg, M. and Gottemoeller, M. Ending Violence Against Women. Population Reports, Series L, No. 11., December 1999

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Event in Washington, DC tomorrow October 24th:

I hope you can join me and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health at this important march and vigil on Friday evening, October 24th. Each year a coalition of Latino community based organizations in DC unite to host this event in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


Because of the recent turn of events, building anti-immigrant sentiment and ceaseless raids on our community, the message of this year’s march is even more political. We are highlighting the fact that there are many forms of violence against women in our community, including institutional violence. The immigration policies and practices of late are a form of violence against immigrant women. We need to speak out and make clear that we will not stand for this.


The theme for this year’s march highlights this fact:

Las inmigrantes también tenemos derecho a un mundo sin violencia

Immigrant women also have the right to a world without violence


I hope you can join me and NLIRH at this important event. If you want to march with us, meet at 5:30 at the park at the intersection of 16th St and Harvard St NW (near Mt.Pleasant, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan). We will be marching to Columbia Heights, and the vigil and rally will be held in front of the Target complex. You can join us there around 6:30 for speakers (including testimonies from survivors of domestic violence) and discussion followed by a candlelight vigil running until about 8pm.

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