Image source: www.onlifesterms.org

Pregnancy, substance involvement, trauma, and HIV vulnerability intersect in ways that dramatically impact women’s lives. Nationally, among pregnant women 15-44 years of age, 9.4% report current alcohol use and 5.4% report current illicit drug use (source: SAMHSA).

On the cusp of National Recovery Month (September) and Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), HIVE hosted a screening of “On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery,” a documentary film by Sheila Ganz.

Film description: “Driven by the desire for custody of their children, five mothers struggle to overcome substance use disorders in a gender-responsive treatment program. Their intimate story reveals experiences with domestic violence, [sex work], incarceration and complex intergenerational relations. On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery interweaves the women’s three-year journey to self-sufficiency and newfound pride with drug laws that impact mother and child, and will inspire hope for recovery.”

Hosting this screening was important given everything we have learned and continue to learn from Beyond Compassion: Caring for Women with a History of Trauma. The powerful film created space for a deep dialogue between the filmmaker and audience. Women shared stories about substance involvement, losing their children and policy issues.

HIVE salutes filmmaker Sheila Ganz for her commitment to make a difference in the lives of mothers and children by giving a voice to their stories. Toward healing and resiliency.     

For more about the film or to host a screening, contact sheila.ganz@gmail.com and visit www.onlifesterms.org.

Resources:

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TDD)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

Pregnancy & Abusive Relationships

Look to End Abuse Permanently (LEAP)

Health Cares About IPV: Screening & Counseling Toolkit

Violence, Trauma and Healing: A Conversation with Women Living with HIV