About 50 percent of women living with HIV have been victims of domestic abuse and 13 percent of them have thought of killing their children and themselves, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
The survey, conducted by the Women's Network Against AIDS-China, an NGO established in 2009 with the support of the United Nations AIDS Program, polled 466 women living with HIV from seven provinces.
A total of 47.7 percent of the respondents said that they were subject to at least one type of domestic abuse, 34 percent said they were abused frequently, and 10 percent said that they had been abused in the past year, according to the survey.
Moreover, 18 percent of the respondents said that they knew or saw other women living with HIV being abused.
The survey found that verbal abuse and mental harassment are the most frequent types of domestic violence suffered by HIV-positive women, followed by physical abuse, sexual abuse and financial deprivation.
Domestic violence caused severe harm after the women were tested to be HIV positive. Specifically, some 13 percent of abused women thought about killing their children and then committing suicide, while 25 percent said they had tried to commit suicide. Besides, 21 percent said they once considered killing the abusers and 14 percent said they had tried to murder the abusers, the survey found.
Some 25 percent and 21 percent of respondents vented out their anger by beating their children or parents or by refusing to take care of their children or parents in revenge, according to the survey.
Facing discrimination and violence, only 22 percent of women sought help from organizations, 20 percent from police and 17 percent from village committees.
Wang Qiuyun, the head of the NGO, told the Global Times that she hoped that specific protection for women living with HIV could be elaborated in the regulations on enforcing the Anti-Domestic Violence Law to better protect the group from being harmed.
Feng Yuan, a women's rights advocate and co-founder of Equality, a non-governmental organization that focuses on gender issues, told the Global Times that conditions of women infected with HIV get worse once they are subject to domestic violence. The government should boost support to the women's rights organizations to fight against domestic violence.