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Violence Against Women News Blog
News, information, resources on gender-based violence, women's rights, local and international perspectives, safety plans, tips on how to help a friend or family member, and a big list of links.  Provided in conjunction with SHARE, Inc. a rural domestic violence program.

Violence against women: what it is

Violence against rural women: what is different

Rural Violence Prevention

Polygamy - a rural issue

World Rural Women's Day: Intersection with Domestic Violence Month

Ride in the car with a rural advocate in South Dakota.

Rural DV Posters
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Advocacy, Justice,  Legal Issues

Articles and studies addressing or impacting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in rural areas. The Rural Womyn Zone does not necessarily endorse or agree with information presented on these web sites.

Rural Health Research Gateway: Physical Abuse and Domestic Violence

Poverty, Parental Stress, and Violent Disagreements in the Home among Rural Families
Research center: South Carolina Rural Health Research Center
Funder: Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP)
Topics: Children, Physical abuse and domestic violence, Poverty, Women
Using the National Survey of Children's Health, this study will address the prevalence of poverty, parental stress and violent disagreements in the home in rural and urban families. Associations among economic hardships, parent stress, violent disagreements in the home and mental health problems in children will also be investigated.

Rural Healthy People 2010: Expansion Project
Research center: Southwest Rural Health Research Center
Funder: Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP)
Topics: Health promotion and disease prevention, Healthy People 2010 (Rural), Physical abuse and domestic violence, Public health
The purpose of this expansion project is to build on the findings of Rural Health People 2010 by concentrating on the 13th and 14th highest ranking rural priority areas (Immunization and Infection Diseases; Injury and Violence Prevention) and their associated models for practice.

View the models for practice and literature reviews on the Rural Health People 2010 website at

Violence And Rural Teens: Teen Violence, Drug Use, And School-Based Prevention Services In Rural America

(2003) Describes a study which had three main purposes: (1) to explore the prevalence of violence-related exposures and drug use among rural teens, (2) to investigate the effects of race and gender on the risk of exposure to violence and drug use, and (3) to compare the policies and mental health care services of rural and urban schools. This study found no evidence to support the common assumption that rural youth are protected from exposure to violence. Rural teens are equally or more likely than suburban and urban teens to be exposed to violent activities, including weapons carrying, fighting, fear of violence, and suicide behaviors. Rural teens are at significantly greater risk of using cigarettes, chewing tobacco, crack/cocaine, and steroids than both suburban and urban teens. Of important note is the high prevalence of "crystal-meth" use among rural teens.

Violence and Rural Teens: Teen Violence, Drug Use, and School-Based Prevention Services in Rural America (Fact Sheet)

(2005) Fact sheet covering the key findings from a study of violence and drug use among rural teens.

Domestic Violence and Help Seeking Behaviors Among Rural Women
This study adds to existing knowledge by examining this type of violence along with mental health characteristics and related help-seeking behaviors of a sample of predominantly Hispanic women seeking shelter at a rural domestic violence shelter. Study participants experienced physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse, harassment, stalking, and abuse with a weapon in their current intimate relationship. Twenty-four percent of study participants of Hispanic backgrounds and 10% of participants from all other racial/ethnic groups reported experiencing all types of abuse listed above. 

Domestic Violence - A Primary Care Issue for Rural Women
From the remote islands of southeastern Alaska to rural counties in Georgia, rural women share a common risk: more than one-third will be victimized by an intimate partner. In rural communities especially, the risk of domestic violence is a reality that is easily hidden and forgotten. Many circumstances of rural living exacerbate the danger for women who experience abuse.

National Rural Health Association Educational Webinars
NRHA has developed a series of enduring online educational webinars available for download at your convenience for a small fee. Available webinars include "Empowerment evaluation: An innovative approach to prevention intimate partner violence and sexual violence to improve the health of rural women."

The Experience of Violence Among Teenage Mothers in Alaska

Teenage mothers are more likely to experience violence during and after their pregnancy than older women and for women of all ages the risk increases after pregnancy. Nearly half of the births to the youngest teenagers result from second-degree statutory rape.

Delayed Entry into Prenatal Care: Effect of Physical Violence
Older women and women of higher socioeconomic status who reported physical violence were more likely to delay entry into prenatal care than younger or less affluent women.

Rape May Be Most Common in Rural Areas
A report by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in Enola, Penn., which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, found that sexual assault outside cities and suburbs is possibly more prevalent but less likely to be reported, contrary to federal statistics showing higher assault rates in urban areas. The report, "Unspoken Crimes: Sexual Assault in Rural America," studied the work of several crime researchers and interviewed sexual-assault counselors across the country "to cast new light on the deep-seated social codes and the often isolated and insulated rural conditions that have made rural populations neither easy to serve or easy to reach."

Sexual Assault in Rural Communities
When sexually assaulted in a rural community, victims often find that opportunities for medical, legal or emotional services are very limited, or even non-existent. Their economic situation and geographic isolation may further limit their options. Strong community ties in rural areas mean that a victim is more likely to be acquainted with the perpetrator than in urban settings. Finally, rural culture tends to be close-knit, self-contained, often conservative and unlikely to turn to "outsiders" for assistance. Together these characteristics result in low rates of reporting, limited opportunities for victim services, and difficulties for service providers. In other words, a victim of sexual violence in a rural community is not likely to report to police or to locate or access services. 

Understanding Domestic Violence in Multi-Ethnic Rural Communities (PDF)
Results of research grant awarded to New Mexico State University.

Rural Assistance Center FAQ on Domestic Violence
According to the November 2000 Department of Justice report, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, 22% of surveyed women reported they were physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date in their lifetime. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. More

Separation/ Divorce/ Sexual Assault in Rural Ohio
Thus far, little empirical and theoretical work has been done on the sexual abuse of rural women who want to leave, are trying to leave, or who have left their marital/cohabiting partners. Further, the bulk of the limited research on this topic has focused on types of seperation/divorce sexual assault and the characteristics of offenders. Using qualitative exploratory data gathered from 43 rural Ohio women, the main objective of this paper is to describe and theorize their experiences with social support providers such as police officers, judges, and shelter workers. This paper concludes with recommendations for further research and policy development.

Exploring the Perceptions of Domestic Violence Service Providers in Rural Localities
The focus group was facilitated by the investigators. Findings identified deficits in public knowledge, agency resources, and community resources, and professional development as being the most problematic issues. Victims were perceived as having to face multiple issues and barriers when seeking services. Implications of these findings are discussed as well as the need for continued research efforts. 

Med School Research finds differences between urban, rural reports of violence
A survey filled out by patients at 22 medical clinics in South Dakota has found that most victims of home violence and threats do not tell their doctors. Full story

Domestic violence fostered by local rural culture
In the rural Upper Valley, women victims of domestic violence struggle to find housing, jobs and legal services that will allow them to leave abusive relationships. Full story

Confidentiality overrides subpoena, advocates for victims say
Advocates for victims of domestic violence say an incident between police and a shelter worker in Sioux Falls could have violated the primary rule of such shelters, which is complete confidentiality of the clients.  Full story

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