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The Public Health Approaches to Violence Against 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 psychological violence (including coercion) by a current or former intimate partner. The violence occurs on a continuum 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 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. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women in Iowa have experienced contact sexual violence (including rape, sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact) in their lifetime. These estimates come from The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010-2012 State Report.

The program collaborates to improve system response to survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence by:

  • offering training and technical assistance to health care providers, and other professionals, on the impact of intimate partner and sexual violence on health; 
  • developing protocols for health care providers and organizations on identifying and intervening with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; 
  • participating in numerous coalitions, work groups, and coordinated community response teams focused on intimate partner violence/sexual violence and intersecting risk and protective factors; 
  • assisting with activities during Sexual Assault Awareness Month which is held during every April, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month held in October

If you are interested in your agency or program receiving training on the impact of intimate partner violence/sexual violence on the health of the populations you serve, contact:  Monica Goedken, MPA 

Prevent Intimate Partner Violence

  • Help create safer, healthier relationships and communities now and for everyone in the future.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced contact sexual violence*, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner with a negative impact (e.g., injury, fear, concern for safety, or needing services).
  • Among high school students who dated in the past year, 20% of females and 10% of males reported either physical violence, sexual violence, or both from a dating partner.
  • Preventing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a priority for CDC.
  • Prevention is possible. You can help make it happen by changing the contexts and underlying risks that contribute to IPV in homes, schools, and neighborhoods.
  • CDC’s technical package helps states and communities use the best-available evidence to prevent IPV.

6 Strategies to Prevent IPV

  1. Teach safe and healthy relationship skills
  2. Engage influential adults and peers
  3. Disrupt developmental pathways toward partner violence
  4. Create protective environments
  5. Strengthen economic supports for families
  6. Support survivors to increase safety and lessen harms

It is important to monitor and evaluate your efforts while the field of violence prevention continues to evolve. Be part of the solution.

Your prevention efforts can involve developing new partnerships & working across sectors. Including: Public Health, Government, Education, Social Services, Health Services, Business, Labor, Justice, Housing, Community Organizations, Media, and Domestic Violence Coalitions. Use CDC’s IPV prevention technical package to begin or expand your efforts.

Planning & Prevention Resources 

* Contact sexual violence includes rape, being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact.

Health Care Provider Resources

Iowa Statutes and Administrative Rules 

This project was supported by Subgrant No. VP-20-93-MSA awarded by the state administering office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.