KEZIA ELLISON (Photo by Gail Manker)
The subject of sexual slave trade on the global level and intimate partner violence domestically were an important topic of discussion at the Mother-Daughter Circle “Sharing the Facts” Gathering & Luncheon, as medical professional struggled with how to protect women from HIV infection who sometimes don’t have control over their own bodies.
“Especially in the African-American community it’s not being promiscuous that’s leading to the infection. It’s a history of abuse,” said Kezia Ellison, president of Educating Teens about HIV/AIDs Inc. “The sad thing is with African-American women, we’re not being tested, not being diagnosed so we’re transitioning to AIDS.”
The event at the University of Pittsburgh University Club on March 9 was presented by Educating Teens as part of the organization’s Women and Girls Health Weekend. It coincided with National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Although slavery has been abolished in most countries throughout the world, women are still traded as sex slaves in alarming numbers.
The United States government has been working to reduce the number of Americans forced into human trafficking through the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was reauthorized in 2008.
But what is being done in the United States to help women with almost equally less control over their bodies who find themselves in abusive relationships where a request to practice safe sex can come with a threat of domestic violence? While President Barack Obama reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act last week, 138 members of the House of Representatives voted against it.