Rita A Webb, ACSW, DCSW
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as the new health reform law, expands care and services to a number of low- and moderate-income, non-elderly individuals and families, who otherwise may have had limited or no access to health insurance coverage. With the current economic instability, financial insecurity, and increased poverty rates, many adults—both men and women—struggle to provide basic needs of food, shelter, and health care for themselves and their families.
Violence and abuse have profound costs for all communities. Yet, for communities of color, the preponderance of violence can be linked to a host of outcomes that have both immediate and long term implications. Though domestic violence, also called intimate partner violence (IPV), is not limited to any one socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, or religious group, the burden of exposure for racial minorities to domestic violence is reported to be significantly high.
The extent of consequences for women who have experienced physical violence each year depends on the severity and frequency of the abuse. Violence hinders a woman’s ability to practice her right to self determination, which affects many areas of her life and choices.
Evelyn Tomaszewski, MSW
The social work profession has often taken a leadership role in addressing women’s and girls’ health and mental health needs and strengths. Central to these successful efforts is the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) commitment to gender equity. For example, the Association has been, and continues to be, involved in work to address violence against women and girls, promote access to reproductive health services, and resolve health and mental health disparities through policy and legislative action.
Women at midlife remain an oddly invisible group. Despite the strides they have made in living lives of meaning and power, youth still reigns supreme, as most popular TV shows and magazine covers attest.
Violence against women remains a global phenomenon against which no country, no society, and no community is immune (United Nations [UN], 2001). The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (Jensen & Otoo-Oyortey, 1999).