WINGS of hope for Women who use drugs (WUDs)
“Due to violence, women have resorted to drug use. Due to drug use, women have become targets of violence”– Pemu Bhutia Senior Technical Officer, India HIV/AIDS Alliance.
The 6th Support Don’t Punish (SDP) Day of Action campaign calls for better drug policies anchored in public health and human rights. The aim for the Global Day of Action 26th June 2018 is to produce high-profile and visually symbolic actions that is feasible, affordable and works best in the local context to ensure greater impact. India HIV/AIDS Alliance, since its inception in 1999, has been at the forefront of the civil society response that advances community led responses on issues that affect the marginalized communities such as people who use drugs.
Alliance India announces its new initiative ‘Project WINGS’ (Women Initiating New Goals for Safety) for responding to the needs of female injecting drug users (FIDUs) on addressing the intimate partner violence (IPV) and gender based violence (GBV) they have been facing with resilience and despair.
FIDUs/WUDs have no support mechanism to overcome the consequences of violence that impact them physically and mentally. It could make them vulnerable to diseases like HIV, Hepatitis, TB, STI, RTI, and also deprive them of legal aid to assert their right to property, right to education, right to health and right to live happily and equally.
WINGS is a one year project starting from May 2018 to April 2019 which will be implemented in Pune, Maharastra, New Delhi and Imphal, Manipur with 200 FIDUs/WUDs. The goal of the project is to address IPV/GBV against the FIDUs & WUDs and reduce the risk of HIV among these women.
WINGS is an evidence-based GBV screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) model for FIDUs/WUDs.
Between baseline and six month follow-up survey, these women will receive two one-on-one psycho-educational sessions on safety planning skills to reduce their risks for GBV/IPV. WUDs/FIDUs will also be linked to HIV testing and treatment services, sexual reproductive health services, harm reduction services and will also be provided with legal aid for redressals and GBV-related services as per their need identified through one-on-one sessions.
Strength of women knows no boundaries, and their resilience inspires us to continue our work towards their empowerment.