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Violence Against Women

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Violence and abuse affect women from all kinds of backgrounds every day. Sometimes, women are attacked by strangers, but most often they are hurt by people who are close to them. Violence and abuse can cause terrible physical and emotional pain. But you are not alone, and you can get help.

Get help – If you have been hurt by someone you know or love, or have been attacked by a stranger, you are not alone. Find hotlines and suggestions that can help.



Am I being abused?


Types of violence against women 

Get help for violence

Mental health effects of violence

Laws on violence against women

Help end violence against women

Government in action on violence against women

Women's thoughts on violence

"I have a sense of pride that I survived and started over. I had to give up the outward appearances and realize that this can happen to anyone, no matter who you are."

— 60-year-old woman

"I can only hope that by telling my story, someone will realize that they are not alone and support is available."

— Registered nurse

"I'm still seeing a counselor...which allows me to see each day as a positive."

— 35-year-old woman

"I divorced him not because I didn't love him, but because I made a choice to be free of his madness."

— Supervisor

Source: Kaiser Permanente Silent Witness Display


  • Project Connect – This program is designed to improve the health and safety of women and children. Project Connect is a national initiative to change how adolescent health, reproductive health, and Native health services respond to sexual and domestic violence.
  • It's On Us - The HHS Office on Women's Health has partnered with the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Center for American Progress to launch the It's On Us campaign. The campaign will fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault. Sexual assault is not only a crime, but a societal problem in which all of us have a role to play. Take the pledge to be part of the solution at ItsOnUs.org.
  • 1 is 2 Many – Young women face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. Vice President Biden is focusing his longstanding commitment to reducing violence against women specifically on teens and young women ages 16-24 through the 1 is 2 Many campaign.
  • One Department: Overview of HHS Activities on Violence Against Women (PDF, 667 KB) – This report is a compilation of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Violence Against Women programs and activities for the years 2010-2011. The members of the HHS Steering Committee on Violence Against Women gathered the information found in this report.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline – This confidential and free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in more than 170 languages. Hotline staff can offer safety planning and crisis help. They also can connect you to shelters and services in your area. Call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or TDD 800-787-3224. You also can get help through email on the hotline's contact page.
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline – This confidential and free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 866-331-9474 or TDD 866-331-8453 or text LOVEIS to 22522. You also can get help through a live online chat.
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline – This confidential and free hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English or Spanish. Call 800-656-4673. You can get live online help through the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Violence Prevention – This website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on the impact of violence and resources to help prevent violence in communities.
  • Mental Health – This section of womenshealth.gov provides information on mental health problems, getting help, and taking care of your mental health.

Violence Against Women was reviewed by experts at:

Division of Violence Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Office of Women's Health
Maternal and Child Health Bureau
Health Resources and Services Administration

Family Violence Prevention Fund

Content last updated: September 30, 2015.

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