UNHEARD AND UNSEEN: Rural Women and Domestic Violence


  • Connie Adler MD

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Connie Adler is a family practice physician in western Maine who specializes in women's health care, especially obstetrics. She has lived and practiced in rural areas in Maine and Washington for 13 years. Dr. Adler has been on the board of directors or involved in shelters and abused women's advocacy programs since 1983. In addition to a very busy obstetric practice, Dr. Adler is chief of medical staff at her hospital and is the medical consultant to the Maine State Breast and Cervical Health Program, a CDC-funded screening program for breast and cervical cancer. Dr. Adler graduated from Cornell University (BA) and Tufts University School of Medicine, graduating with honors and an award for excellence in the “art” of medicine. She did her residency at the Maine-Dartmouth family practice residency in Augusta, Maine. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked extensively with migrant farmworkers in eastern Washington State.

Connie Adler, MD, PO Box 263, Farmington, ME 04938.


Rural society and conditions can contribute to make domestic violence more difficult to escape. Physical and social isolation, the distance to and unavailability of services, and rural culture provide challenges to abused women and to health care providers that are different from the obstacles seen in better-studied urban areas. Heightened awareness can aid in identification of abuse. Social action is necessary to change communities and to interrupt the cycle of violence.