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Domestic Violence: How To Recognize It And Its Effects

Domestic violence typically occurs in intimate relationships, where one side of the relationship has an imbalance of control and power. Domestic violence comes in many forms such as sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. An abuser uses intimidating, hurtful words and behaviors to control their partner. Although domestic violence is known, recognizing it in relationships can often be a challenge. Where some relationships can subtly get worse over time, or some abusive relationships can be clearly abusive from the start. Some ways to recognize signs of domestic violence are:

  • Constantly acts jealous and possessive.
  • Blaming you of being unfaithful in a relationship.
  • Putting you down or insulting you and calling you names.
  • Threatening with violence or weapons.
  • Blaming you or someone else for their violent behaviors or actions.
  • Physically hurting you such as punching, hitting, or kicking.
  • Preventing you from seeing family and friends.
  • Controlling you when you go to see a healthcare provider.
  • Controlling on how you spend your time, money, or what you wear.
  • Threatening to tell your family, friends, or community your gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Forcing you to engage in sexual acts.

When women flee from domestic violence, they are often forced to leave their homes with nowhere else to go. For years, advocates have known that domestic violence is a primary cause of homelessness for women and families. Poor women, who are more vulnerable to homelessness, are also at greater risk of domestic violence. Poverty limits women’s choices and makes it harder for them to escape violent relationships. In Minnesota, for instance, 46% of homeless women reported that they had previously stayed in abusive relationships because they had nowhere to go. In San Diego, almost 50% of homeless women are domestic violence victims. Housing instability and a lack of safe and affordable housing options heightens the risks for women experiencing domestic violence. Abusers typically use violence as a part of larger strategies to exercise power and control over their partners, and isolate partners from support networks. As a result, women who have experienced domestic violence will often have little or no access to money and very few friends or family members to rely on if she flees a violent relationship. 

By: Olivia Katsura

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Maternal Mortalities: Racial & Ethnic Prejudice

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Dr. Ana Langer, the director of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston postulates that these deaths could have been prevented had we not been in the midst of a public health and human rights emergency. Researchers posit that black women are often undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are, and when they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.

The reasons behind racial disparities are many and complex. One proposed outcome is the lack of access and poor quality of care, particularly among women at lower socioeconomic levels. However, growing concerns have appeared regarding the value of black women and their quality of health care. For instance, both implicit bias and structural racism affect how women are cared for in the health care system as numerous researchers have found that bias and stereotyping regarding people of color can impact the level of health care they receive. In fact, Serena Williams was having shortness of breath during her pregnancy, which led to a pulmonary embolism, but when she brought it to the attention of medical staff, they initially dismissed her concerns, wasting crucial time before her diagnosis and treatment. In this case, differential treatment came from communication gaps regarding crucial details about the patient’s medical history, which failed to get passed along. Thus, racism is a leading factor to what could have been potentially avoidable deaths among black women, and it continues to be a global problem that is resulting in the loss of countless lives.

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Period Poverty: What is it and how can we help?

What is period poverty?

Period poverty affects women and girls all over the world. According to reports, 1 in 4 women in their menstruating years experience period poverty, ranging from the inability to purchase the products they need to the inability to go to work, school, and perform daily activities because of it. It’s not something that just affects homeless women or those with the inability to purchase such items, but children as well. An estimated 14% of girls (of 1000) create their own makeshift solutions, resulting in numerous life-threatening infections and even infertility. Access to sanitary products, safe and hygienic spaces in which to use them, and the right to manage menstruation without shame or stigma is essentially for all who menstruate. Some major problems because of period poverty include the increase of people creating their own makeshift solutions leading to vast infections and infertility, and the lack of accessibility because of taxes on sanitary products. Some actions that can be done are to sign petitions, write to elected officials, and donate to organizations and charities.

Why is period poverty dangerous?

Period poverty comes with its dangers and risks. These risks being that women create their own makeshift solutions for sanitary products such as replacing sanitary products with cloth or toilet paper. This can ultimately be very  unsanitary and can produce dangerous risks to the body. Using a makeshift for a sanitary product can cause lots of serious infections. Infections such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and STI’s. This can easily lead to infertility, furthermore, can even be fatal as gential infections can spread to the rest of the body if they are not properly treated. Many homeless women worry about providing a meal for themselves and necessary goods to live rather than spending money for sanitary products. Which is where tampon tax comes into play.

What is tampon tax and how does it affect women? 

Most states consider female sanitary products to be luxury items, which tampon tax causes many women to have an even more difficult time accessing basic menstrual necessities. Tampon tax exists because menstrual hygiene products are classified as items not qualifying as “treatment or prevention of illness or disease in human beings.” This can affect many women who can not obtain mensural products as they are already, as this just raises the price even more.

How to help:

By: Olivia Katsura

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