Evidence collected over the last 20 years indicates that physical and sexual violence against women is an enormous problem. Much of this violence is perpetrated by women's intimate partners or in relationships that would presumably carry some protective aura (eg, father-daughter, boyfriend-girlfriend). This violence carries with it both short- and long-term sequelae for women and affects both their physical and psychological well-being. The high prevalence of violence against women brings them into regular contact with physicians; at least one in five women seen in emergency departments has symptoms relating to abuse. However, physicians frequently treat the injuries only symptomatically or fail to recognize the injuries as abuse. Even when recognized, physicians are often without resources to address the needs of abused women. This report documents the extent of violence against women and suggests paths that the physician community might take to address the needs of victims.