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 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 which can be found here.  

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 parter 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, please contact: 

Monica Goedken, MPA



COVID-19 Resources 


Health Care Provider Resources

Abuse in Later Life

Campus Health
Child and Adolescent Providers
Family-Support Resources
Forensic Healthcare Resources 
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Education Guidelines, Adult & Pediatric (updated 2018) PDF
  • Intimate Partner Violence Nurse Examiner Education Guidelines (Updated 2020) PDF
  • Forensic Nurse Death Investigator Guidelines (Developed 2009; Published 2013) PDF
  • Core Competencies for Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing (2004) PDF
  • Tribal Forensic Healthcare 
  • Indian Health Services Forensic Healthcare 
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 


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.

For more information, contact (515) 281-5032 or use the "Contact Us" page for additional information or assistance.