Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives

The exhibition, from the National Library of Medicine, tells the story of nurses who changed the medical profession and dramatically improved services to victims of domestic violence in the late 20th century.

Education Resources from the National Library of Medicine

Banner image for Confronting Violence exhibit, crowd scene

Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives provides resources for educators and students to further classroom studies of domestic violence, or as independent studies. These resources are designed to be starting points for exploring historical perspectives and existing tools and services for ending domestic violence in the United States. Educators are welcome to adapt these resources in whole or in part as appropriate for their students’ interests and learning goals.
- The National Library of Medicine

Lesson Plans

Icon for NLM's Lesson Plans for Confronting Violence Exhibit

Important Dates

Dates Related to the Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives Exhibition


30-31, 1978:

The United States Commission on Civil Rights sponsors a “Consultation on Battered Women: Issues of Public Policy.” The hearings highlight the issue of battered women as a national concern.


Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


4-8, 1976:

First meeting of the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Brussels. A resolution on domestic violence is sent to the governments of all countries.

8, 1977:

The first International Women’s Day is celebrated, which is now an annual celebration on March 8.

Women’s History Month


1st full week: Public Health Week

Sexual Assault Awareness Month


6-12: National Nurses Week

Wednesday of National Nurses Week: National School Nurses Day

8: National Student Nurses Day


15: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day


19-20, 1848:

The first Women’s rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York.


18, 1920:

The U.S. Congress ratifies the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.


3, 1981:

The United Nations Adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of discrimination Against Women.

13, 1994:

President Bill Clinton signs the Violence Against Women Act.


27, 1985:

U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issues a report identifying domestic violence as a major health problem for women.

6, 1989:

The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 101-112, designating October of that year as the National Domestic Violence  Awareness Month.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Second week: Forensic Nursing Week

1, 1985:

The Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International is formed.


20, 1993:

The United Nations adopts “The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”

Higher Education

Higher Education Icon from the NLM's Confronting Violence Exhibit

Online Activities

Online Activities Icon from the NLM's Confronting Violence Exhibit

Other Resources

Other Resources Icon from the NLM's exhibit Confronting Violence

Continue to learn about the history, causes and effects, and prevention strategies related to domestic violence. Examine its history in the United States, starting with the Curator’s Bibliography. Explore how one may seek help, as well as get involved in preventing domestic and other kinds of violence by accessing several online examples of programs, services, and suggested readings that are listed under Online Resources.