Rite Aid Foundation Comes to The Aid of Victims of Domestic Violence Women and Their Children

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Domestic violence can make children less likely to succeed in school, more likely to suffer and commit violent crime, and more likely to experience health problems that can last throughout their lives. The impact of domestic violence goes beyond the statistics, it impacts the overall community health directly or indirectly.

Women Are Dreamers Too (WADT), a non-profit Business Technical training for Domestic Violence Survivors, has partnered with Rite-Aid Foundation to address the health and wellness issues affecting women victims of domestic violence and their children

The issue of Domestic Violence in our community, and the cycle of poverty, (a result of batterer-generated economic burden) plagues abused-victims and their children. But most importantly are the health consequences arising form domestic violence.

The effects of violence on a victim's health are severe. In addition to the immediate injuries from the assault, battered women may suffer from chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, psychosomatic symptoms, and eating problems. Although psychological abuse is often considered less severe than physical violence, health care providers and advocates around the world are increasingly recognizing that all forms of domestic violence can have devastating physical and emotional health effects.

Domestic violence is associated with mental health problems such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Women who are abused suffer an increased risk of unplanned or early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. As trauma victims, they are also at an increased risk of substance abuse. According to a U.S. study, women who experience intimate partner abuse are three times more likely to have gynecological problems than non-abused women

Women are particularly vulnerable to attacks when pregnant, and thus may more often experience medical difficulties in their pregnancies. Recent research has called for increased study of pregnancy associated deaths. "Pregnancy associated deaths" are "deaths occurring to women who have been pregnant within the previous year." A study conducted by researchers in Maryland of 247 pregnancy associated deaths found that the leading cause of death was homicide.

There are significant obstetric risk factors associated with domestic violence. Abused women are more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted disease infections, vaginal and cervical infections, kidney infections and bleeding during pregnancy, all of which are risk factors for pregnant women. Abused women are more likely to delay prenatal care and are less likely to receive antenatal care. In fact, "[i]ntimate partner abuse during pregnancy may be a more significant risk factor for pregnancy complications than other conditions for which pregnant women are routinely screened, such as hypertension and diabetes

This partnership with Rite-Aid will help Women Are Dreamers Too to identify as well as address some of the health issues affecting these women and their children.

Each year, an estimated 1.5 million women and 834,000 men are physically abused by their current or former intimate partner or spouse, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. Additionally, one in four American women state that they are or have been physically abused by an intimate partner. In 2002, there were 61, 355 occurrences of family violence in Georgia, and nearly 80% of the aggressors were male. Nearly 5.3 million intimate partner victimizations occur each year among women in the United States, resulting in close to 2 million injuries annually.

“Opportunities like this give us the chance to call attention to this silent epidemic, while helping to educate our community on the prevalence and extent of violence perpetrated against women. We believe that education is the key to ending domestic abuse,” says Cindy Williams, Executive Director, Women Are Dreamers, Too. “Domestic violence destroys people, families and communities everyday. We applaud Rite- Aid for their partnership

“Domestic violence doesn’t only leave physical scars; it leaves deep emotional wounds and directly impacts the survivor’s self-esteem and self-worth. Survivors of domestic violence often have a difficult time re-entering the workforce, due to low self-esteem and Chronic health issuesh issue. Owning and operating a business boosts confidence and significantly improves earning potentials among participants,but it is important to address these health risks among our participant” says Williams.

About Women Are Dreamers Too
Women Are Dreamers Too is a Non-Profit 501 c 3 Business Technical training for survivors of Domestic Violence. Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. WADT provides a Business Development and Life Skills Curriculum with counseling services to aid survivors of domestic Violence and their children.

“Our curriculum is intense because WADT’s candidates have to be very competitive in a competitive business world, while recognizing the deep scars within, so we are addressing women's health issues but most importantly as it relates to domestic violence among women. We recognize that all these factor affect productivity or succinctly the marginal productivity of the entrepreneur ”- C. Williams, Ph.D. WADT
For more information, visit: http://wadt.org.

About Rite-Aid
The Rite Aid Foundation, founded in July 2001, is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to helping people in the communities Rite Aid serves lead happier, healthier lives.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with approximately 4,700 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, with a strong presence on both the East and West coasts, and 91,000 associates. Rite Aid is the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and the third largest drugstore chain in the U.S.

for more information visit- http://www.riteaid.com/

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Cindy Williams
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