Tag Archive | public health

An Abusive Relationship

When discussing the topic of romantic relationships, people often inquire about the characteristics of an abusive relationship. It is important not only to know the characteristics of an abusive relationship but it is equally important to know what constitutes a healthy relationship. A health relationship has been defined as one where it functions to increase self esteem of both participants in the relationship. An abusive relationship is one in which the victim’s sense of self is diminished. Let’s look closer at the characteristics of both types of relationships.

Healthy Relationships

–  Partnership:                     There is shared responsibility.

–  Economic equality:           Freedom exists related to issues of work, school, and money.

–   Emotional Honesty:        Both parties feel safe to share fears and insecurities.

–   Sexual Respect:               Accepts that no means no.

–  Physical Safety:                Respects partner’s space and discusses issues without violence.

–  Supportive/Trusting:      Listens and understands, values partner’s opinion, and sensitive to other’s needs.

Abusive Relationships

–          Domination:                             Abuser decides. Servant-Master relationship.

–          Economic Control:                   Withholds money.

–          Emotional Manipulation:         Uses jealousy, passion, and stress to justify actions.

–          Sexual Abuse:                          Treats partners as sex object.

–          Physical Abuse:                        Hit, choke, kick, punch, pull hair, twist arms, trip, bite.

–          Controlling:                               Isolates partner from friends.

–          Intimidating:                            Charming in public but menacing in private.

The behaviors listed above are not comprehensive. The information should simply serve as a brief overview and to encourage the reader to seek more information. For further information on the topic of domestic violence, there are many websites that can provide comprehensive information including but not limited to: http://www.thehotline.org; www.ncadv.org; and www.pcadv.org.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art


March 10th is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) as National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Fortunately, HIV/AIDS is preventable. Nevertheless, each year, HIV/AIDS continues to destroy countless lives. HIV/AIDS takes the greatest toll among African-Americans, Latinos and MSM of all races.  The rate of new infections among blacks is seven times the rate among whites.  Among Hispanics, the rate of new HIV infections is three times as high as that among whites.  And according to a recent CDC analysis, the HIV diagnosis rate among MSM is forty-four (44) times that of other men.

One out of four HIV cases in our nation are among women and girls, thirteen years of age and older; and two out of three of these women and girls are African-American.  Given these grim statistics, this pressing public health issue challenges each of us to be “our sisters’ keepers.”  This National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, you can choose to make a difference in the lives of others. Toward that end, take action in the fight against HIV and raise awareness of its impact on women and girls. Get tested. Encourage every female within your sphere of influence to be tested for HIV/AIDS. Additionally, you can plan or support HIV prevention efforts in your community.

With an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action, each of us can educate members of our community about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the importance of knowing your HIV status. For further information about HIV/AIDS, visit the Centers for Disease Control’s website at http://www.cdc.gov.

Source(s): Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), HIV Surveillance Report: Diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and Dependent Areas, 2009.; Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI)

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rape combined. And studies suggest that up to ten (10) million children witness some form of domestic abuse annually. Everyone has a right to be safe.

Research data indicates that when different members of the community coordinated their efforts to protect battered women and hold batterers accountable, these efforts were more successful. Coordination helps to ensure that the system works faster and better for victims, that victims are protected and receive the services they need, and that batterers are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior. A critical first step toward coordinating responses is developing a common understanding of domestic violence.

Law enforcement agencies, advocates, health care providers, child protection services, local businesses, the media, employers and clergy can—and ideally should—be involved in a coordinated community response. Health care providers, in particular, can be important participants. Doctors, nurses and emergency room workers may see and treat women who do not or cannot seek other kinds of assistance. Coordinated community response programs often work to create a network of support for victims and their families that is both available and accessible. Coordinated community response programs often use the full extent of the community’s legal system to protect victims, hold batterers accountable, and enforce the community’s intolerance of domestic violence. Coordinated community response programs also often engage the entire community in efforts to change the social norms and attitudes that contribute to domestic violence. (From American Medical Association, Family Violence: Building a Coordinated Community Response 12 (1996).)

The conference aims to advance the health care system’s response to domestic violence. The Conference attracts the nation’s leading medical, public health and family violence experts from across the U.S. with increased international participation. In addition to the institutes, workshops, and plenary session, award winning actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith will perform part of her one-woman show on healthcare, Let Me Down Easy, during the biennial National Conference on Health & Domestic Violence.

Conference Logistics:

Event Date:     March 29-31, 2012

Location:         San Francisco, California

Sponsor:          Futures Without Violence

The 6th Biennial National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence will feature cutting-edge research and practice on the intersection of healthcare and violence prevention. Workshops, scientific posters, and plenary sessions highlight the latest research and most innovative clinical responses to domestic violence, with a focus on the work being done by physicians, physician assistants, dentists, nurses, nurse midwives, mental and behavioral health providers, social workers, domestic violence experts, researchers and others. The Conference includes an Exhibit Hall to feature local and national resources. The Conference is primarily funded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

With thirteen (13) in-depth Pre-Conference Institutes, one hundred and seventy (170) workshop presentations, in addition to plenary and keynote sessions, the Conference is one of the largest forums of its kind for advocates, clinicians, and researchers.

Prevention Pre-Conference Topics:

The prevention pre-conference institutes, workshops, and plenary sessions are as follows:

Prevention: Here are some of the prevention related titles of sessions:

Pre-Conference Institute: Promoting healthy relationships & preventing teen dating violence in the middle school years

Pre-Conference Institute: Intersectionality and gender based violence

Pre-Conference Institute: What’s your role in ending violence against women on campus?

Teen dating violence trajectories: Expect respect and gender matters intervention projects

Evaluation of the green dot bystanding intervention program in high school and college campuses

Weathering tough economic times through relationships: Innovations in teen dating violence prevention with youth at the center

Preventing IPV among Hispanics: Family, partner and community violence exposure, innovative training programs and impact on reproductive health of gang-affiliated Latina women

Interactive multimedia and online tools to understand teen perspectives on relationships, teach about IPV, and to transform negative social norms to positive ones

The fourth R: Classroom and small-group strategies to reduce dating violence and abuse

Promoting healthy relationships among adolescents in health care and school settings

Engaging men and boys as allies: Prevention programs and therapeutic tools for young men exposed to violence

Closing plenary session on Transformers:  Risk, Resilience and the Promise of our Teens

Conference Sponsor: Futures Without Violence’s


Everyone has the right to live free of violence. Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, works to prevent and end violence against women and children around the world.”


From domestic and dating violence, to child abuse and sexual assault, Futures Without Violence works to end some of the most pressing global issues of our time.  We advance the health, stability, education, and security of women and girls, men and boys worldwide. In 1994, Futures Without Violence was instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the US Congress. Striving to reach new audiences and transform social norms, we train professionals such as doctors, nurses, athletic coaches, and judges on improving responses to violence and abuse. As well, we work with advocates, policy makers and others to build sustainable community leadership and educate people everywhere about the importance of respect and healthy relationships – the relationships that all individuals, families, and communities need and deserve.

For further information on the conference or to register, please visit www.nchdv.org.

Source(s): DAIP. Prevent-Connect. Futures Without Violence website. American Medical Association, Family Violence: Building a Coordinated Community Response 12 (1996).)

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art.

2012 ISHEID: International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases

The “2012 ISHEID: International Symposium on HIV & Emerging Infectious Diseases” will take place on May 23rd through the 25th of 2012 in Marseille, France.

According to Conference Alerts, “ISHEID will focus on finding a cure against HIV, but also: Human Rights, Prevention of HIV Transmission, Access to Care. ISHEID is the opportunity to meet international Key Opinion Leaders in a friendly atmosphere, and share ideas.” For more information, please contact Alain Lafeuillade or visit their website. Information Source: Conference Alerts. Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

2011 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA)

Date: November 10-13, 2011

Venue: Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact: conferences@nmac.org or (202) 483-NMAC (6622)

URL: http://www.nmac.org/index/2011-usca

“The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), set for November 10-13, 2011, at Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, in Chicago, IL, is an event you cannot afford to miss. For nearly two decades, USCA has sought ‘to increase the strength and diversity of the community-based response to the AIDS epidemic through education, training, new partnerships, collaboration and networking.’

It is the largest AIDS-related gathering in the U.S., bringing together over 3,000 workers from all fronts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—from case managers and physicians, to public health workers and advocates, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/As) to policymakers—to build national support networks, exchange the latest information and learn cutting-edge tools to address the challenges of HIV/AIDS. We hope you will be one of them.” –Paul A. Kawata, The Executive Director of the National Minority AIDS Council

Sources:National Minority AIDS Council.  Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Nichelle Mitchem Encourages You to Join the Battle Against Cancer Among Women

Cancer Among Women

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year. An estimated 40,170 women are expected to die from the disease in 2009 alone. Today, there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

Note: The numbers in parentheses are the rates per 100,000 women of all races and Hispanic origins combined in the United States.

The Three Most Common Cancers Among Women

Breast cancer (119.3)

  • First among women of all races and Hispanic origin populations.

Lung cancer (55.0)

  • Second among white, black, and American Indian/Alaska
    Native women.
  • Third among Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic women.

Colorectal cancer (41.1)

  • Second among Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic women.
  • Third among white, black, and American Indian/Alaska
    Native women.

Leading Causes of Cancer Death Among Women

Lung cancer (40.2)

  • First among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and
    American Indian/Alaska Native women.
  • Second among Hispanic women.

Breast cancer (23.4)

  • First among Hispanic women.
  • Second among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and
    American Indian/Alaska Native women.

Colorectal cancer (14.5)

  • Third among women of all races and Hispanic origin

Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer

Photocredit: Microsoft Clip Art

Join the Battle Against Breast Cancer

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is fast approaching. The month of October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).  It has been reported that the first NBCAM program took place in October 1985. It was a week-long event. The overarching objective of the event was to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer.

Despite on-going cancer research, cancer still attacks 10,000,000 people per year worldwide.  Annually, 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 555,000 people will die in our nation this year alone. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.

In 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available)—

  • 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
  • 40,820 women died from breast cancer.*†

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer.[i] Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).[ii] Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40.[iii] However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women.[iv] According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2009.[v]

If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has  been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to gather  as much information as is available. For more information, you can visit the websites for: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the National  Cancer Institute.

†Source(s): U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer  Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report.  Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs. www.nbcam.org.

*Note: Incidence counts cover approximately 96% of the U.S. population and death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.

Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Ibid.