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Confronting Violence, Improving Women's Lives

Women rallying outside DC in 1995 against domestic violence.



Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, First Floor Special Collections and Archives Reading Room
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, Va. 23298


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 overwhelmingly failed to acknowledge violence against women as a serious health issue. Beginning in the late 1970s, nurses were the vanguard as they pushed the larger medical community to identify victims, adequately respond to their needs, and work toward the prevention of domestic violence. This story is told in “Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives,” a new exhibit at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences.

The exhibit is free and open to all during normal library hours. Parking is available for a fee in the 8th Street parking deck. If special accommodations are needed, please contact Thelma Mack, research and education coordinator, at (804) 828-0017.

Affiliated Events

Domestic Violence and Health Care
Oct. 11, 12:10–1 p.m.
Register for this Oct. 11 event.
Tompkins-McCaw Library
Special Collections and Archives Reading Room
Offers an inside look at the highly regarded domestic violence program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

Details of the Real Life Film Series

The Clothesline Project Oct. 8–12, normal library hours
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
An exhibit featuring T-shirts decorated with powerful messages by sexual assault survivors or by those who have lost loved ones to sexual assault and is intended to raise awareness in the wider community about the prevalence of sexual assault and to foster a culture of support and healing. This exhibit is organized by SAVES (Students Advocating Violence Education and Support), a student-led itiative of the VCU Wellness Resource Center.

Silent Witness Oct. 8–12, normal library hours
Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences
A traveling memorial for Virginians killed as a result of domestic violence, featuring lifesize silhouettes of victims. The memorial is organized by Amy Cook, Ph.D. and students from her service-learning course Crime and Delinquency Prevention and is a partnership between the Wilder School and SAVES.

Official Website

Image: National Organization for Women (NOW) anti-violence rally, Washington DC, 1995, by Ellen Shub


VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Box 980582
Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (844) 352-7399
(804) 828-0636

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