“He attacked me when I took off the condom”: robbery victim Margot testifies
As part of AIDS Day on December 1, the word NEON chose to remove a condom without consent from Margot, a volunteer of the union and a victim of theft. An act that is considered rape in several countries.
EWomen are not always the first social group that comes to mind when it comes to the population at risk in the fight against AIDS. And yet: HIV is the leading cause of death among women aged 15-44 According to AIDES in the world. In France, in 2020, approxOne in three new HIV positive findings was in a woman.
That’s one of the reasons Margot, a Parisian in her thirties, chose to get involved. She trusts us to educate women about their sexual health, empowering them to “take back power over their own protection, and therefore their independence.” Another reason is that it may also be infected. Two years ago, a condom was removed without the young woman’s consent, which is called theft. In several countries it is considered rape – In Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain and California –, French legislation remains unclear on this practice.
However, Margot’s testimony leaves no doubt about her lack of consent and the trauma caused by the attack.
One in three French people has already been forced to have unprotected sex
“I went up to this guy, we had sex, and he took the condom off twice,” she recalls. The young woman tells her husband to give her another one each time. “Except for the third time, I didn’t see it. When I finally figured it out, I was immediately attacked. I physically reacted by pushing her, and she replied: ‘Stop acting innocent, you noticed!'”. Despite the physical and brutal confrontation, Margot erases this memory from her memory. She does not forget only the body. Very soon, the young woman can no longer eat, he can’t sleep, has a fever, and feels sick to his stomach.
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“I was in complete denial about what was happening to me and it wasn’t until I got to the hospital that I started to understand,” explains Margot. There she meets a practitioner who asks her the right questions: first about her general and psychological health, and then about whether she may have recently been in a risky relationship. “I replied, ‘yes, but not by me.’ The practitioner then tells her that this act is considered rape in several countries around the world, but the young woman does not immediately realize the seriousness of what is happening.
In previous relationships, she had “given in” to her partner’s pressure to no longer protect herself. And he is not alone: in France, One in three women say their partner forced them to have unprotected sex despite their disagreements According to the We All survey, which we told you about in this article. First, there are the physical consequences that Margot fears: she must undergo several tests to detect a possible STD. But the young woman fears a completely different kind of disease.
“I had all the symptoms of early HIV infection”
“We suspected potentially HIV because I had all the symptoms of an underlying infection: fever, extreme fatigue, weight loss… I recorded for 2 or 3 hours, saying to myself, ‘That’s right, it’s ‘safe.’ Finally, the result was negative for HIV, we found that the infection came from the uterus.” He spent a long time in the hospital to treat salpingitis, a serious and under-recognized infection, especially among women. It was during this time that Margot became aware of the attack. “To me, when he took off the condom, that meant he was attacking me. did, as a person, as an individual, becausehe did not respect the framework I set“, he explains today.
Despite his combative nature, this episode leaves him psychologically disturbed: Margot feels from shame, from sin against his sexuality, infidelity and lack of reaction from his relatives does not help to overcome his aggression. After her words are questioned by her friends – the circle to which the abuser belongs – she returns to her past addictions until she overdoses. “Then I said to myself: ‘Well, actually, you have a problem, you should consult.’
Women are twice as likely to be infected by men
The young woman was followed by a drug addict for a year and a half and decided to join AIDES. “I’ve always wanted to be active in a community, and with what I’ve been through there, it’s made more sense,” she said. Despite the association’s historically MSM bias – “men who have sex with men” – and hence the conspicuous absence of women, where Margot meets other activists. “Around the common themes, there’s been a buzz to raise women’s awareness of HIV, consent, sexual desire, sexual health issues in general,” she enthuses.
“I think that women need to regain power over their protection and therefore their independence. This is a society that is more affected by sexual harassment and rape, and in a few years they will be the majority in new pollutions. [au VIH, ndlr]According to UNAIDS, women are at least twice as likely to be infected by men than by other means. However, only 19 Percentage of participants in clinical trials are women Shows HELPS.
Margot’s other pride is her resilience: “I’m very proud that I turned what happened to me into something good, into a community, because I think it’s important to talk about these acts of violence that are not so visible. […] now, The non-negotiable for me in my sex life is protectiona form of consent that is not spoken enough, but guarantees my independence, my integrity and my femininity”.
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