In part because of successful advocacy efforts of Texas female leaders, including Advocacy Without Borders, to address the brutal 2012 and 2014 murders of Elisha Henson and Cicely Bolden, Positive Women's Network-USA is spearheading this national inaugural day to coincide with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. An astonishing 3 out of every 4 women living with HIV have experienced violence during their lifetime. The devastating combination of violence and HIV results in higher rates of mental health diagnoses such as depression, PTSD, and anxiety as well as greater likelihood of virologic failure and/or death. HIV+ transwomen report even higher rates of violence. These destructive trends cannot continue!
Throughout the US there will be local and virtual events of all types to commemorate the Day of Action during the week of October 23, 2014. Advocates in Houston, Texas are coordinating a virtual event to raise awareness as well as pay tribute to positive women and girls, including our transgender sisters, whom have experienced violence. Here's how you can help!
*****Participate in our flash blog!
We are seeking posts about violence and women living with, affected by and at risk for HIV, including our trans sisters. You can share just a name and a date; you can share a detailed story; you can share a poem, song, pictures...whatever you'd like. Feel free to use a pseudonym or initials if you don't want your identity or the identity of the person you are referencing to be known, or state that you'd like your post to be anonymous. We will share all the posts that we receive at various intervals throughout the Day of Action (October 23, 2014) at http://EndVAWHIV.blogspot.com
Please send us your flash blog contribution and/or contact us for more details at SaveWomensLivesFlashBlog@gmail.com)
In addition to the flash blog, here are some other virtual ways that you can get involved!
1) Signal boost the Day of Action! Share the memes, post about the day in your statuses, inform people at meetings and on conference calls and in groups, etc. (Be certain to use hashtags related to the day such as #EndVAWHIV, and more general domestic violence hashtags such as #SaveWomensLives. A comprehensive social media toolkit from PWN-USA is available here containing sample tweets, statistics, suggested activities for engaging people on social media, etc.)
2) Change your social media profile pic to honor the Day of Action, & encourage others to do so!
Consider using this image:
Or perhaps this one:
3) Distribute the PWN-USA fact sheet to educate people about violence and HIV. It can be sent via your email list-serves, tweeted, etc. It is available here.
4) Engage in advocacy surrounding Elisha Henson's murder to demonstrate solidarity and support. Details about some ways that this can be done can be found here.
5) "Join" the Day of Action Facebook online event if you have not done so already, and also share the event widely! It is available here.