Your support goes beyond being the greatest Major League Soccer fan club of all time! The support that this group has shown ARFC over the years has encouraged us, allowed our youth programs to grow, and brought many, many fun matches and even wrestling to our organization. Thank you for your latest show of support!!
Today marked the first meeting of Coalition H.O.W.L., a coalition of service providers working together to help women who live at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence (DV).
Her story. One community. Waking up to LISTEN.
The Greater Newark Area is an epicenter of these two intersecting epidemics—each of which is characterized by stigma, fear of disclosure, violence, under-education, and lack of available resources. Each of which requires a special kind of trauma-informed care that is yet to be comprehensively developed. But it is much needed.
New Jersey accounts for the highest rates in the nation of women living with HIV/AIDS; Essex County alone is estimated to have 5,230 women living with the virus. This part of New Jersey also has alarming rates of DV and even more staggering rates of DV crimes that are not met with a conviction. In Essex County, it is estimated that 8.49 women experience DV per hour. And while a 2013 survey showed that Newark represented 42.6% of DV crimes in Essex County, only 14 instances of sexual assault were reported last year.
"In the United States, women living with HIV are more likely to die from violence, trauma, and the effects of lifetime abuse, than HIV-related causes" [Positive Women's Network].
It is the silence that surrounds both HIV/AIDS and DV that is the most lethal. Coalition H.O.W.L. seeks to bring information and collaborative services to the forefront. Of women living at the intersection of HIV/AIDS and DV: 55% experience Intimate Partner Violence (2x the national rate); 61%have been sexually abused (5x the national rate); and 30% have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (5x the national rate). 45% of women were met with physical abuse upon disclosing their HIV status. There is a crisis of silence that surrounds this population that will not be alleviated until service providers from both populations come together to develop a "pipeline" that bridges supportive services for women from this population.
To understand this phenomenon, we need to probe it. The immediate goals of Coalition H.O.W.L. are to begin a support group from women living with HIV/AIDS who have experienced DV; coordinate resources through monthly face-to-face gatherings; and to spread awareness by inviting other organizations to become involved with this work.
If you are interested in learning more, contributing, or sharing about this work, please complete and submit the form below. Or call Dr. Jaclyn Harte at (973) 643-0400 ext. 751.
We've been busy.
ARFC, with support from the NJ Department of Health's Division of HIV, TB, and STD Services, has designed, organized, and opened a supportive home for young HIV-positive gay and bisexual men. This program is one that is close to ARFC's mission. As the children and families in our care grow, change, and evolve, so do the array of programs at ARFC. Our commitment to children and adolescents in the after-school program and our legacy of services to adults and families has lead us to this newest initiative - providing support to the young people aging out, or kicked out, of traditional support systems.
Project Nest is a transitional housing program that provides weekly individual and group therapy, medical case management, nursing services, substance abuse prevention, and opportunities for developing life skills. ARFC intends for each resident to exit with the skills and confidence they need to live independently in the community.