Office on Women's Health Blog
Violence Against Women
One out of every three women in the United States will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. This is unacceptable, and we as a nation must do better. We can start by bringing the conversation out of the shadows. We must erase the stigma associated with domestic violence. That is why national Domestic Violence Awareness Month is so important.
Dr. Sabrina Matoff-Stepp, Sarah Linde
Identifying current or past abusive and traumatic experiences can help prevent further abuse, lessen disability, and lead to improved health status. Because health care providers are often trusted resources in their communities, they are in a unique position to connect individuals who experience IPV with supportive local services — as HRSA's Chief Public Health Officer (and family physician) RADM Sarah Linde knows all too well.
Domestic violence has been in the news a lot lately. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how staggering the problem is: over 38 million women in the United States experience violence at the hand of a husband, boyfriend, or other partner during their lifetime. Or another way to think about it: one in five women will experience IPV during her life
In 1982, I remember standing on the porch of the Crisis Center in Manhattan, Kan., with my four-year-old son and five-year-old daughter, waiting to meet the domestic violence advocate who answered my call for help to escort us to a local shelter.
Today, I took a pledge to help end sexual assault on college campuses. As a woman, mother and the Director of the Office on Women's Health, this is a deeply personal issue for me. Before I ask you to join me in taking this pledge, here are the facts.
In 1974, the women's liberation movement was in full swing. My class at Baylor College of Medicine had over 30 female students, more than in previous years. We felt powerful — like trailblazers doing our share for women and society. But I still wondered: Would it happen to me?
It might feel scary to ask for help or support, but help is available. Whether you were assaulted recently or many years ago, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or use the Online Hotline. Both are free, confidential, and open 24/7.
Women's History Month reminds us to pay tribute to the generations of women who have contributed to the growth of our nation, in public and private life. As we celebrate Women's History Month and recognize the extraordinary achievements women have made throughout history, I'd also like to reflect on the accomplishments the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made over the last year to improve the lives of women and girls