Request for Information (RFI): Future Directions in Violence Against Women Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

February 10, 2023

Response Date:
March 31, 2023

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)


This Request for Information (RFI) is intended to gather public input on priority scientific directions in violence against women (VAW) research. This includes cisgender, transgender, and gender-diverse persons who identify as a woman or girl, as well as other individuals assigned female at birth but who may not identify as a woman or girl. Specifically, the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP), and the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO) are soliciting comments from the public on scientific gaps and research opportunities to address longstanding and emergent factors that perpetuate VAW. This request solicits input on a broad range of topics to inform research directions to better understand and identify opportunities to address underlying causes that influence women’s exposure to violence and to identify approaches to address the health impacts and sequelae of VAW.

In this request, VAW is considered broadly to include but not be limited to: domestic or intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault and rape, dating violence and abuse, peer violence, physical and mental abuse, sexual coercion, stalking, homicide, and elder mistreatment.


Violence against women (VAW) is pervasive, with approximately 30% of women worldwide experiencing some form of exposure to violence in their lifetime. The most recent findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicate that almost 1 in 2 women have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking victimization by an intimate partner, and over 26% of women have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. In addition to physical injury and mortality, women exposed to violence have a range of other adverse physical and mental health sequelae such as poor pregnancy outcomes, the development of chronic diseases and conditions, depression, and substance use. Like other forms of violence, the factors that influence VAW are deeply rooted in structural and social inequities such as poverty, educational attainment, and community conditions. Concerted efforts that address the underlying causes of VAW offer the greatest opportunity to make sustained improvements in the prevention and ultimate elimination of VAW. NINR, ORWH, NICHD, NIMHD, OBSSR, ODP, and SGMRO are committed to advancing VAW research to accelerate progress in the prevention of VAW and the mitigation of its health effects. This request is intended to complement ongoing Violence Research Initiatives at the NIH to support research to understand, prevent, and address VAW and its health impacts.

Information Requested

NINR, ORWH, NICHD, NIMHD, OBSSR, ODP, and SGMRO seek input from academic researchers, patient and family advocates, scientific and professional organizations, healthcare professionals, federal partners, internal NIH partners, and other interested members of the public. We are requesting feedback on the scientific direction including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  1. Structural and other social determinants of VAW, including opportunities to advance research to intervene on factors such as economic instability, educational opportunities, incarceration and legal system involvement, neighborhood crime and violence, and barriers to community cohesion.
  2. Opportunities to address VAW in healthcare settings, considering both primary and secondary prevention.
  3. Community and population-level efforts that address underlying causes of VAW.
  4. Prevention of intergenerational transmission of trauma and violence such as family-based, school-based, or community-partnered research efforts.
  5. Potential policy and practice level interventions to mitigate and prevent VAW including policies in the health, education, social service, housing, and/or legal system.
  6. Efforts focused on traditionally understudied populations such as American Indian and Alaska Native women.
  7. Opportunities to address the impact of violence on maternal morbidity and mortality.
  8. Research to address the effects of violence on contraceptive use and unplanned pregnancies.
  9. Efforts to understand the long-term psychological sequelae of childhood exposure to various forms of violence.
  10. Efforts focused on women with physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities.
  11. Opportunities to address violence against immigrant and refugee women, as well as women with interconnected social identities (e.g., Black women, women of less privileged socioeconomic status).
  12. Research to address VAW in communities that experience disparities in violence, such as sexual and gender minority (SGM) women, people assigned female at birth, and women of color.
  13. Intersectional research to better understand how different individual, social, and structural factors influence VAW risk and perpetration, as well as to develop appropriate prevention, intervention, and implementation strategies.
  14. Efforts focused on poly-victimization such as being exposed to and/or experiencing multiple types of violence and repeated violence.
  15. Strength-based approaches to prevent and treat VAW including approaches aimed at preventing violence perpetration and promoting resilience strategies.
  16. Nurse scientist-led research efforts to address the prevention and treatment of VAW.
  17. Paths to translate findings from small-scale trials to larger, sustained programs including, but not limited to, adaptation to different contexts and populations as well as understanding implementation strategies.

How to Submit a Response

To ensure consideration, responses should be submitted via email to no later than March 31, 2023. Please indicate VAW RFI Response in the subject line of the email.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The U.S. Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The U.S. Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation for applications or proposals, or as an obligation in any way on the part of the U.S. federal government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The federal government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the government’s use. Additionally, the U.S. Government cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the information provided. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Shalanda A. Bynum, PhD, MPH
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Telephone: 301-755-4355

Benjamin Johns, PhD
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Telephone: 301-435-1681

Elizabeth Begg, DrPH, RN
Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Telephone: 301-496-3975

Valerie Maholmes, PhD, CAS
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-496-1514

Crystal L. Barksdale, PhD, MPH
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Telephone: 301-402-1366

Dara R. Blachman-Demner, PhD
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
Telephone: 301-496-8522

Elizabeth L. Neilson, PhD, MPH, MSN
Office of Disease Prevention (ODP)
Telephone: 301-827-5578

Christopher Barnhart, PhD
Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office (SGMRO)
Telephone: 301-594-8983