Preventing sexual violence against young women from African backgrounds

Prof. Donna Chung, Prof. Colleen Fisher, Dr. Carole Zufferey & Dr. Ravi K Thiara
Australian Institute of Criminology
Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice No. 540, June 2018

This study explored how young women from African refugee and migrant backgrounds understand and experience sexual coercion and violence.

Data was gathered from young women from African backgrounds and a wide range of agencies in two Australian states, Western Australia and South Australia, to better understand the extent of their awareness of and concern about sexual coercion and assault and document how agencies respond to these issues.

The paper concludes it is necessary to improve policy, practice, professional development and training to better respond to the sexual violence experienced by these young women, and raise awareness of the issue in their communities in a culturally sensitive way.

Exploring HIV risks, testing and prevention among sub-Saharan African community members in Australia

International Journal for Equity in Health, 2018, 17:62

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0772-6

Abstract

Background

Significant health disparities persist regarding new and late HIV diagnoses among sub-Saharan African (SSA) communities in Australia. Personal/cultural beliefs and practices influence HIV (risk, prevention, testing) within Australia and during visits to home countries.

Method

A community forum was conducted involving 23 male and female adult African community workers, members and leaders, and health workers; facilitated by cultural workers and an experienced clinician/researcher. The forum comprised small/large group discussions regarding HIV risk/prevention (responses transcribed verbatim; utilising thematic analysis).

Results

Stigma, denial, social norms, tradition and culture permeated perceptions/beliefs regarding HIV testing, prevention and transmission among African Australians, particularly regarding return travel to home countries.

Conclusions

International travel as a risk factor for HIV acquisition requires further examination, as does the role of the doctor in HIV testing and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Further assessment of PrEP as an appropriate/feasible intervention is needed, with careful attention regarding negative community perceptions and potential impacts.

First criminal prosecution of female genital mutilation in Queensland goes to trial today

ABC News, 21/05/18

The first couple to be prosecuted on female genital mutilation charges in Queensland have pleaded not guilty to allegedly taking two girls aged nine and 12 to Africa to undergo the procedure.

The African man and woman—who cannot be named for legal reasons—were charged in 2015 on two counts each of removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

Their case is being heard today at a Beenleigh sitting of the District Court.

One in five ‘heterosexual’ men in the UK caught their HIV from another man

nam/aidsmap, 18 February 2017

A genetic analysis of a large database of people with HIV in the UK in care shows that 18% of men with HIV who claim to be exclusively heterosexual in fact belong to clusters of linked infections that consist only of men.

This provides a minimum figure for the proportion of men with HIV in the UK who are what the researchers call non-disclosed MSM (ndMSM).

These ndMSM were considerably more likely to be of black African ethnicity rather than any other ethnic background. They were also very much less likely to have had a recent HIV infection.

Read more here

 

Walk WITH US Against Family Violence – event

The Liberian Australian Service Foundation  (in collaboration with the African Communities Council of SA, the Middle Eastern Communities Council of SA and the Australian Migrant Resource Centre), November 2016

“WALK AGAINST DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE”

This Saturday, 5 November 2016 at 10:30 am

From Light Square to Parliament House on North Tce, Adelaide 

LAS Foundation and the African Communities Council of SA in collaboration with the Australian Migration Resource Centre, invite the general public to join them for a “Walk Against Domestic and Family Violence” from Light Square to Parliament house.

From their press release:

“Violence against women and children is a national shame in Australia.
According to recent statistics, one woman is killed every week as the result of intimate partner violence.  Domestic and family violence cut across all cultures and communities. The African community in South Australia and the wider Australian community continue to be affected by this national shame.

We realise it is time for us the African Community to speak out and stand up against domestic and family violence. The Walk Against Domestic and Family Violence initiative will raise awareness in the African communities of the social, economic and psychological impact of domestic and family violence. The event demonstrates that men and the wider community have a significant role to stop violence against women and children in our society.

“Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture, or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.”  – Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, 8 March 1999

Join us on the day for this worthy cause.”

Download flyer walk_with_us_flyer-final-1

For African women with HIV, not breastfeeding is not easy

Reuters,

Healthcare providers need to understand that for HIV-positive African women, following advice not to breastfeed in order to protect their babies from the virus takes a high emotional toll, a U.K. study suggests.

Read more here