Health Care Response to Violence Against Women

SAFETY ALERT: If you are in danger please call 911 or
 the 24-hour Iowa Victim Service Call Center at 1-800-770-1650 or text "iowahelp" to 201211-800-770-1650

The Public Health Approaches to Violence Agasint Women Program offers resources for health care providers to improve their responses to victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual assault.

The term "Intimate Partner Violence" (often called Domestic Violence) describes physical violence, sexual violence, stalking or psyccological violence (including coercion) by a current or former intimate partner. The violence occurs on a continumm ranging from a single incident to long-term and ongoing episodes of violence. While IPV is difficult to accurately measure, national surveys indicate that one in three women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence by a current or former partner at some point at some point in their lives. While relatively few women report the abuse to law enforcement authorities, many are seen by health care providers, who have the opportunity to identify the abuse, provide education, and intervene before the abuse becomes fatal. In Iowa all hospitals are required to have a protocol in place for the identifying and intervening with patients who experience domestic violence (Iowa Administrative Code [481] 51.7(3).

A sexual assault is a sexual act that is forced or coerced. A person of any age, gender, race/ethnicity, or economic status can be sexually assaulted. In Iowa, we estimate that one in ten people will experience a forced sexual contact in their lifetimes.

The program, under the direction of the violence prevention coordinator, collaborates to:

  • develop protocols, identify resources, and develop training materials for health care providers across the state;
  • assist with activities during Sexual Assault Awareness Month which is held during every April, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month held in October; 
  • arrange training and technical assistance to health care providers seeking to improve their facility's response to intimate partner violence and sexual assault;
  • support the development of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Teams in Iowa.

The program is funded through a federal STOP Violence Against Women Act grant that is contracted by the Iowa Department of Justice.

Health Care Provider Resources


Abuse in Later Life

Campus Health
Child and Adolescent Providers
Family-Support Resources
General Health Systems
HIV Care
Human Trafficking
Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming
Primary Care
Public Health
Reproductive and Sexual Health
Sexual Assault Exams 
Strangulation Resources 
Trauma-Informed Health Care

Related Websites

Iowa Statutes and Administrative Rules 

For more information, contact (515) 242-6514 or use the "Contact Us" page for additional information or assistance.