NNEDV Recognizes National Women's Health Week
May 12, 2014
Sunday, May 11th was Mother’s Day—but the celebration of mothers does not stop there. May 11th also marked the beginning of the 12th annual National Women’s Health Week, coordinated by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. This week-long, nationwide health care initiative is dedicated to mobilizing and empowering women and girls across the country to make their mental and physical health a priority. This week of national health observance is a time to raise awareness about women’s health, to foster greater understanding about what it means to be healthy, and to encourage women everywhere to take active steps to live a healthy lifestyle.
This year’s theme – “Take Time For You,” – speaks to the well-known tendency of women and girls everywhere to put the needs of others before their own. The week kicks off with National Women’s Check-Up Day on Monday, May 12. Vital to any woman’s health and well-being, this day reminds all of us to visit our regular physician and to schedule routine check-ups. During this check-up, women should discuss with their health-care provider what screening tests are right for them, when they should plan to have different tests, and how frequently. In addition to scheduling routine check-ups, this week is dedicated to encouraging women to get active, eat healthy, pay attention to mental health, stress management, and sleep; and to abstain from unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and excessive drinking.
During this National Women’s Health Week, NNEDV also encourages all women to prioritize their sexual health as well. With more than 1 in 3 women having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime and approximately 7 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner each year, it is critical that we look at how intimate partner violence intersects and effects women’s health (1).
NNEDV’s Positively Safe project calls attention to the intersection of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS and the importance of screening for domestic violence and testing for HIV/AIDS. Victims of domestic violence are at a greatly increased risk for STDs, including HIV, and women living with HIV experience domestic violence at a higher rate compared to women who are HIV-. Addressing this intersection is critical to supporting the health and needs of women everywhere.
For more information on National Women’s Health Week, visit the Office on Women’s Health page.
1 - U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (July 2000). Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washington, DC. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N.