Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives

September 26, 2016 – November 5, 2016


Activists and reformers in the United States have long recognized the harm of domestic violence and sought to improve the lives of women who were battered. During the late 20th century, nurses took up the call. With passion and persistence, they worked to reform a medical profession that largely dismissed or completely failed to acknowledge violence against women as a serious health issue. Beginning in the late 1970s, nurses were in the vanguard as they pushed the larger medical community to identify victims, adequately respond to their needs, and work towards the prevention of domestic violence. This is their story.

The six-banner traveling exhibition explores images, manuscripts and records that tell the stories of the nurses who witnessed the effects of domestic violence and campaigned for change.

Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives began traveling around the United States in October 2015. For more information, contact or visit us on the web at:

Credit line: The National Library of Medicine produced this exhibition with support from the Office of Research on Women’s Health.

Curated by Catherine Jacquet, PhD

Images courtesy Ellen Shub and National Library of Medicine.

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