Women's Health

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Violence against women affects all racial, cultural and economic backgrounds. It is a leading cause of injury for American women between the ages of 15 and 54, but it can happen at any age. Acts of violence have terrible and costly results for everyone involved, including families, communities, and society. Violence can take several forms including domestic or intimate partner violence, sexual assault and abuse, dating violence, and elder abuse. Picture of sad lady

This page will provide you with information on all of these types of violence against women, including specific resources for each type of violence and on how to get help.

Violence against women in any form is a crime, regardless of who committed the violent act. It is always wrong, whether the abuser is a family member; someone you date; a current or past spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend; an acquaintance; or a stranger. You are not at fault. You did not cause the abuse to occur, and you are not responsible for the violent behavior of someone else. If you or someone you know has been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused, seek help from other family members and friends or community organizations. Reach out for support or counseling. Talk with a health care provider, especially if you have been physically hurt. Learn how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse before you find yourself in an uncomfortable or threatening situation.

Domestic Violence | Sexual Assault | Dating Violence | Elder Abuse

Iowa Laws: Domestic Violence Resources
Iowa Code for Dependent Adult Abuse - this is the law enacted to protect dependent adults in Iowa

State/National Organizations
Iowa Domestic Violence Shelters
Domestic Violence Prevention Program - Iowa Department of Public Health
National Center on Elder Abuse
Family Violence Prevention Fund/National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence
National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence

Phone Resouces
Iowa Healthy Families Line - 1-800-369-2229
Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-942-0333
Iowa Sexual Abuse Hotline - 1-800-284-7821 or 515-244-7424 in the Des Moines, IA area
Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence - 1-800-942-0333
National Domestic Violence Hotine - 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)


  1. Preventing Domestic Violence: Clinical Guidelines on Routine Screening
  2. You Deserve to Be Safe and Healthy in Your Relationship
  3. You Deserve to Be Safe and Healthy in Your Relationship (Spanish)
  4. Signs of Abuse
  5. Leaving an Abuser - A list of helpful items to get together when you are planning on leaving an abusive situation
  6. Sexual Assault is About Power, Control & Anger (Copyright © NCPC) - This publication contains information on rape, what a woman should do if she is raped, and what you can do to protect yourself and others from being assaulted.
  7. Myths and Facts about Sexual Violence - This fact sheet debunks common misunderstandings about rape and sexual assault. Topics discussed include victim characteristics, risk assumption, drug use, perpetrators, location of rapes and more.
  8. Sexual Assault Fact Sheet (Copyright © AAFP) - This fact sheet explains what a woman should do if she has been raped. It describes the emergency room procedures for victims who go to the hospital and also contains information for support services and other resources.
  9. Wheel Gallery developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project
    Wheels include:
    • Power and Control (in English and Spanish)
    • Equality (in English and Spanish)
    • Abuse of Children
    • Nurturing Children
  10. Intimate Partner Violence: Fact Sheet
  11. College Campus Safety Tips for Students
  12. Domestic Violence Resources
  13. Iowa Data on Domestic Violence

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Funding for this project was provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.