This post was submitted by a JCW+ Participant
It is true that violence causes one to become fearful and for a woman living with HIV it can even mean involuntary disclosure of one’s status.
During a ICW members Monthly Dialogue group work session 5 women living with HIV between the ages of 22 and 60 decided to put their feelings on paper, to express the hurt they and other peers vented having experienced violence due to their HIV status.
One woman shared her experience of being stalked and threatened. It was so terrifying that she refused to even use her own cell phone.
Women who experience psychological abuse become overly submissive and subjected to inhumane treatment even more so the abuse that may accompany living with HIV. This can be overwhelming and heart aching. When women share their experiences of living with HIV in abusive situations it seems to span more than one’s mind can truly comprehend- the struggles, the shame, the hurt, the pain… are we not human after all?? Do we not have emotions? Do we not breathe? Do we not bleed if you cut us? Are we toxic and dangerous to your health just by being?
We fall; but we shall rise 7 times stronger than before. Violence has crippled me but I learned to crawl until I began walking again, I am now soaring through the skies as a woman living with HIV and an overcomer!!