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Gender-Based Violence and the Effects on Behavioral Health

Gender-Based Violence and Behavioral Health Body

As defined by the 2023 U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence (PDF | 1.6 MB), gender-based violence (GBV) refers to a range of interpersonal violence across the life course, including sexual violence, intimate partner violence (AKA domestic violence), stalking and other interconnected forms of violence and coercive control. GBV survivors are at higher risk for depression, anxiety, substance misuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide attempts.

SAMHSA is committed to addressing the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and the treatment, support, and recovery of survivors.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent GBV and to support survivors. Recovery to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life is more than possible.

Stats

Gender-Based Violence Prevalence Statistics

According to the 2023 U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence:

  • More than half of women (54.3%) and nearly one-third (31%) of men in the United States reported some form of sexual violence victimization involving physical contact (contact sexual violence) at some point in their lifetimes.
  • About 41% of women and 26% of men reported having experienced, at some point in their lifetimes, contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner that resulted in an intimate partner violence-related impact (including, for example, injury or concern for safety, need for housing or legal services, or help from law enforcement).
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men reported being a victim of stalking in their lifetimes that made them fearful, threatened, or concerned for their safety.

SAMHSA Blog: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and SAMHSA is joining our federal partner agencies in raising awareness of domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) throughout our nation. The link between gender-based violence and its impact on behavioral health is strong.

U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

The White House released the U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action (GBV National Plan) in May 2023. This first-ever plan is a comprehensive, government-wide approach to prevent and address sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other connected forms of violence and coercive control.

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White House Releases National Plan

On May 25, 2023, the White House released the first-ever National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence (GBV), a comprehensive, government-wide approach to preventing and addressing GBV in the United States.

U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action PDF Cover

U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action

The plan advances an unprecedented and comprehensive approach to preventing and addressing sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other forms of gender violence.

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SAMHSA’s Implementation of the U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

The release of the GBV National Plan provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the link between GBV and mental health and substance use and to take further action.

SAMHSA has joined its sister Operating Divisions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with other federal agencies in implementing an interdepartmental approach. SAMHSA is also continuously engaged with external partners and stakeholders, including those with lived experience, to enhance the agency’s work.

HHS Factsheet: HHS Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of the U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence with Fact Sheet of Recent Accomplishments.

For inquiries regarding SAMHSA's implementation of the GBV National Plan, please email GenderBasedViolence@samhsa.hhs.gov.

Finding Help

There are several national hotlines available to address the different forms of GBV.

Sexual Violence

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Phone: (800) 656-4673
Website: National Sexual Assault Hotline

Department of Defense (DOD) Safe Helpline for Sexual Assault
Phone: (877) 995-5247
Website: Department of Defense (DOD) Safe Helpline for Sexual Assault

Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: (800) 799-SAFE
TTY: (800) 787-3224
Text "START" to 88788
Website: National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline
Phone: (866) 331-9474
Text: 22522
Website: National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

StrongHearts Native Helpline
Phone: (844) 762-8483
Website: StrongHearts Native Helpline

Stalking

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: (800) 799-SAFE
TTY: (800) 787-3224
Website: National Domestic Violence Hotline

Human Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Hotline
Phone: (888) 373-7888
Text: 233733
Website: National Human Trafficking Hotline

Last Updated
Last Updated: 10/10/2023
Last Updated