Exhibit Lauds Nurses Who Raised Awareness of Domestic Abuse

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine tells the story of nurses who worked to raise awareness to domestic violence since the late 1970s. “Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives” is on display at Youngstown State University’s Cushwa Hall.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the exhibit’s six banners are displayed in Cushwa’s atrium throughout the month of October until Nov. 2. The exhibit is free to view courtesy of the YSU Melnick Medical Museum.

The museum’s curator, Cassie Nespor, said that nurses were in a unique position to recognize and address the medical and emotional needs of battered women. By the mid-1980s, the public health community identified domestic violence as a pressing health issue.

“With passion and persistence, nurses worked to reform a medical profession that largely dismissed or completely failed to acknowledge violence against women as a serious health issue,” part of the exhibit’s description reads.

The exhibit includes images, manuscripts and records from the nurses who witnessed the effects of domestic violence and campaigned for change.

For more information on the Melnick Medical Museum at YSU, visit melnick.ysu.edu.

Pictured: Nurses and women’s rights advocates called attention to family violence and rallied for reform during the mid-19th century. Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

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