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Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives

Blaisdell Medical Library

May 6, 2024 - August 10, 2024

Blaisdell Medical Library hosts traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine

The Blaisdell Medical Library (BML) is proud to host Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives, a traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that explores the role nurses played in pushing the medical field to help identify, respond to, and prevent intimate partner violence (IPV). The exhibit tracks the rise of the battered women’s movement in the 1970s and 80s, the success of nurses who advocated for major changes to the medical profession to address and treat survivors of domestic violence, and the ongoing activism aimed at supporting and empowering those affected by intimate partner violence. In addition to the NLM exhibit, BML staff have put together a sub exhibit with information on the current state of IPV prevention and reporting in California using a mix of physical books, online resources, and printed materials. 

Battered Women's Speakout at Women’s Suffrage Day Celebration Rally at Boston City Hall Plaza Boston Massachusetts 8.26.76
Battered Women’s Speakout at Women’s Suffrage Day Celebration Rally at Boston City Hall Plaza Boston Massachusetts 8.26.76 ©Ellen Shub 2015 all other rights reserved

Intimate partner violence is abuse or aggression that occurs in romantic relationships. For the purposes of this exhibit, we are using the term intimate partner violence rather than domestic violence, as that term encompasses violence committed not only by romantic partners, but also parents, grandparents, guardians etc. While domestic violence occurs when people are living together, intimate partner violence can occur even when partners live separately. Perpetrators of IPV use a pattern of behavior to maintain power and control over their partner, which can cause physical, sexual, and psychological harm to the survivor. Both perpetrators and victims can be of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Depending on which state they live in, nurses and doctors must be on the lookout for the physical signs of abuse. 

A person’s experience of violence and their health are inextricably linked. As healthcare providers, it is our duty to learn how to talk to our patients about their experiences of violence and connect them to resources to prevent and heal from violence.

Rachel Robitz, MD – Medical Director, Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic

California is one of six states in the US that has laws requiring mandatory reporting from healthcare providers in cases of adult abuse. According to California Penal Code §11160, a health practitioner who treats a patient for a physical injury they know or suspect was caused by abusive behavior must report it to local law enforcement. Mandatory reporters are required to make a telephone report as soon as possible and must submit a written report within two working days. When making a report, practitioners are required to include the name of the injured person, the injured person’s whereabouts, the character and extent of the person’s injuries, and the identity of the person who allegedly inflicted the injury. 

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence at the Jane Doe Walk for Women’s Safety at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade Boston MA October 25, 1992
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence at the Jane Doe Walk for Women’s Safety at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade Boston MA October 25, 1992 ©Ellen Shub 2015 all other rights reserved

Though we’ve come a long way since those first nurses began calling for change in the late seventies, we still have far to go when it comes to preventing intimate partner violence and supporting survivors. If you or someone you know is at risk for or currently experiencing intimate partner violence, there are several resources available online you can go to for help.


Websites with an asterisk (*) have a quick exit button for safety purposes.

  • UCD Center for Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE)
    • Publications created by UCD campus center including crisis resource cards, education toolkits, fact sheets, etc. Also includes Spanish language materials.
  • My Sister’s House*
    • Serves Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children in Sacramento impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking by providing a culturally appropriate and responsive safe haven, job training, and community services.
  • WEAVE Inc.*
    • Primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and the Rape Crisis Center for Sacramento County. Provides multilingual services.
  • Empower Yolo*
    • Offers twenty-four hour crisis intervention, emergency shelter, and other services for individuals and families in Yolo County affected by domestic violence and other forms of a violence in a manner that honors their cultural practices and traditions.
  • Futures Without Violence*
    • A national organization offering educational programs and training for professionals across many disciplines on improving responses to violence and abuse. Also works with advocates, policy makers, and others to educate people about the importance of respect and healthy relationships.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline* Call 800.799.7233 or Text BEGIN to 88788
    • Crisis Line accessible to individuals affected by intimate partner violence. Includes phone, text, and online chat options.
    • Disponible en español:  
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) 24/7 Help Line 800.656.4673
    • Operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual violence and help survivors. Live chat available on their website.
    • Disponible en español: 

Further Reading

The E-books and Articles in this list contain a mix of open access and restricted titles. Titles with an asterisk (*) at the end of the citation require Library VPN login for off-campus access.



Open Access

These items are available to everyone regardless of affiliation status.