My husband and I attended the funeral of a young woman while living in Mozambique, South Africa. We joined our neighbors, attended the funeral, and walked to the burial. The young woman’s father told us that he had asked her to get tested for HIV, but she refused.
HIV in Africa is a huge problem. The estimate in the region we lived was 1 in 4 people.
It is eliminating the young people and the workers. Grandmothers, who expected that their children would support them later in life, are suddenly having to support their grandchildren in the wake of their own children’s early deaths. Children have to take care of siblings. Married women are among those at high risk, particularly if their husband drives a truck or works in the mines of South Africa, because they can’t refuse sex or ask him to use a condom when he comes home. Just like a gun or a knife, AIDS can kill too.
Many think of domestic violence as just physical, but it is also psychological, emotional, economic, and sexual too. The latter forms being some of the more devastating as you can not see the damage visually. One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. THAT IS ONE BILLION WOMEN.
As we approach, February 14th, it is time to Rise Again, And it is time to END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.
To accomplish our vision of a society where all individuals are safe and can flourish, the programs, services, and decision making at all levels of A Woman’s Place are rooted in and guided by the following values: Courage, Creativity, Equality, Integrity, Respect, and Social Justice.
*excerpt from the Values Statement of A Woman’s Place
Jenny Bishop Kempf
Resident Counseling Advocate