Violence against women continues to be a critical issue that must be addressed at both the local and national levels of Government. For centuries, girls and women have been victims of violence, which were often accepted as societal norms as opposed to criminal behaviors. Violence has long reflected the devalued role of girls and women within society including, rape, domestic (familial and partner) physical and mental abuse, sex trafficking, and kidnapping and bondage.
The statistics are staggering in terms of the number of women who are victims of sexual violence or assault. One (1) in every six (6) Americans has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and nine (9) out of every 10 rape victims are female. With the heightened concerns about violence against girls and women, private and governmental entities have focused on this issue. In September 2009, the Clinton Global Initiative launched “Man Up” to advance gender equality and address the epidemic of violence against women.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health reported that domestic violence and other traumas have significant mental health consequences. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are common mental health disorders resulting from these types of exposure. Additionally, according to recent data some unfortunate and common mental health outcomes of violence against women include the use and abuse of drugs, alcoholism, and eating disorders. Consequently, a key question remains a priority challenge: What are the coping strategies for these girls and women who have survived after being traumatized by victimization?
Given the high prevalence and incidence of violence against women, taking the necessary steps to become educated about this issue is everyone’s responsibility. Would individuals know where to turn if someone came to them for help or advice? Would people be able to know the warning signs of domestic violence or sexual abuse? To what extent are professional, private, and public organizations moving toward bridging gaps in mental health services and support for victims of violence?
ARDX Raises Awareness to Address Gaps in Behavioral Health
ARDX believes strongly in creating innovative ideals that foster integrated systems of change to promote overall health and well-being. We are excited to announce this year’s 9th Annual Women’s Wellness Celebration, with this year’s theme of, Mental Health Matters: Opening Eyes. Opening Minds. ARDX hopes to raise awareness and promote action about the mental health well-being of girls and women by integrating the roles of policymakers, community leaders, practitioners, and families.
It is worth everyone’s time to attend and hear expert speakers and panelists from varying local and national organizations address these modern day mental health issues. The information received at the Women’s Wellness Celebration conference will be life-changing. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!
About the Authors
Rolande Murray, PhD – Dr. Murray is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD, and serves as a Behavioral Health Expert on the ARDX Healthcare Expert Advisory Board (HEAB).
Lateefah Hughes, Dr.P.H. – Dr. Hughes is the Chair of the ARDX Healthcare Expert Advisory Board. Dr. Hughes served as the former Deputy Director of Payment Policy and Financial Management, and former Director of the Division of Risk Adjustment Operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.