36 TV Shows with Strong Women and No Sexual Violence

One in five women has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime (in the UK) [1], so it’s not something that should be taboo. We need to talk about it. It’s a reality of our lives, and therefore should sometimes be included in stories about our experiences.

But we also need to be able to choose not to watch rape depicted on our screens. Sometimes it feels like we can’t get away from sexual violence on TV. I keep finding shows that sound great – lots of strong female characters, intense storylines… then three episodes in someone gets raped.

As a survivor of sexual violence, I don’t want to watch it on TV. It’s distressing, and certainly not entertaining. I do want to watch shows about women’s lives though. Shows with strong female characters who I can relate to, who can inspire me, and entertain me. So here’s a list of 36 TV shows with strong women and no sexual violence depicted. They are all recommendations from my friends, along with their descriptions from IMDB.

If you have other suggestions or if I have any wrong, let me know in the comments below or tweet @Care2. I’d love to hear from you! And please sign the petition at the end of this post asking Netflix to create more female-led TV shows that do not feature rape in 2018. Thank you!

– Beth, Head of UK Campaigns, Care2

Stranger Things1. Stranger Things (2016)

Drama, Fantasy, Horror | IMDB 9.0 When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends, must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back. Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder

the Marvelous Mrs Maisel2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)

Comedy, Drama |  IMDB: 8.9 A housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comic. Stars: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Marin Hinkle

The Crown3. The Crown (2016)

Drama, History | IMDB 8.7 Follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. Stars: Claire Foy, Victoria Hamilton, Vanessa Kirby

Parks and Recreation4. Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)

Comedy | IMDB 8.6 The absurd antics of an Indiana town’s public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place. Stars: Amy Poehler

The Bridge 5. The Bridge (2011-2018)

Crime, Mystery, Thriller | IMDB 8.6 When a body is found on the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, right on the border, Danish inspector Martin Rohde and Swedish Saga Noren have to find the killer. Stars: Sofia Helin, Sarah Boberg

Feud

6. Feud (2017)

Biography, Drama | IMDB 8.6 An anthology series centering on famous feuds, including Bette Davis & Joan Crawford and Prince Charles & Princess Diana. Stars: Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Judy Davis, Jackie Hoffman

QI

7. QI (2016/2017)

Comedy, Game-Show | IMDB 8.6 A comedy panel game in which being Quite Interesting is more important than being right. Sandi Toksvig is joined each week by four comedians to share anecdotes and trivia, and maybe answer some questions as well. Stars: Sandi Toksvig

Steven Universe

8. Steven Universe (2013)

Animation, Action, Comedy | IMDB 8.4 A young boy takes his mother’s place in a group of gemstone-based beings, and must learn to control his powers. Stars: Deedee Magno, Michaela Dietz, Estelle

9. Broad City (2014-)

Comedy | IMDB 8.4 Broad City follows two women throughout their daily lives in New York City, making the smallest and mundane events hysterical and disturbing to watch all at the same time. Stars: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Hannibal Buress, Arturo Castro

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

10. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Crime, Drama, Mystery | IMDB 8.4 Our female sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of late 1920s Melbourne, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger-sharp wit. Stars: Essie Davis, Ashleigh Cummings

11. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)

Comedy, Crime | IMDB 8.3 Jake Peralta, an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt. Stars: Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero

12. Grace and Frankie (2015-)

Comedy | IMDB 8.3 Finding out that their husbands are not just work partners, but have also been romantically involved for the last 20 years, two women with an already strained relationship try to cope with the circumstances together. Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin

13. The Expanse (2015)

Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi| IMDB 8.3 A police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth’s rebellious colony on the asteroid belt. Stars: Dominique Tippe

14. Halt and Catch Fire (2014-2017)

Drama | IMDB 8.3 Set in the 1980s, this series dramatizes the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths. Stars: Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé


15. Raised by Wolves (2013-)

Comedy | IMDB 8.3 A large family is raised by an unconventional single mother on a council estate in Wolverhampton, England Stars: Rebekah Staton, Helen Monks, Alexa Davies

16. Saturday Night Live (1975-)

Comedy, Music | IMDB 8.1 A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show. Stars: Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Vanessa Bayer

17. Call My Agent! (2015)

Comedy | IMDB 8.1 In Paris, France, a group of movie-star agents go about their lives and work, and they’ll have to figure out how to carry on with the agency after the passing of their fearless leader. Stars: Camille Cottin, Liliane Rovère

18. GLOW (2017)

Comedy, Drama, Sport | IMDB 8.0 A look at the personal and professional lives of a group of women who perform for a wrestling organization in Los Angeles. Stars: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel

19. The Good Place (2016)

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | IMDB 7.9 A woman struggles to define what it means to be good. Stars: Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil

20. Leverage (2008-2012)

Crime, Mystery, Thriller | IMDB 7.9 A crew of high-tech crooks attempt to steal from wealthy criminals and corrupt businessmen. Stars: Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf

21. Jane the Virgin (2014)

Comedy | IMDB 7.8 A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated. Stars: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglas

22. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

Comedy, Drama | IMDB 7.8 Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times. Stars: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty

23. Insecure (2016)

Comedy | IMDB 7.8 Follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman. Stars: Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Lisa Joyce

24. Transparent (2014)

Comedy, Drama | IMDB 7.8 An L.A. family with serious boundary issues have their past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. Stars: Amy Landecker, Gaby Hoffmann

25. No Angels (2004-2006)

Comedy, Drama | IMDB 7.8 Nurses who work, but also enjoy the night life. Stars: Kaye Wragg, Louise Delamere, Sunetra Sarker, Jo Joyner

26. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015)

Comedy, Musical | IMDB 7.7 A young woman abandons a choice job at a law firm and her life in New York in an attempt to find happiness in the unlikely locale of West Covina, California. Stars: Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin

27. Chewing Gum (2015)

Comedy | IMDB 7.7 The life of Tracey and the mishaps of her neighbourhood, friends and family. Oh, and obvs her boyfriend! Stars: Michaela Coel, Danielle Walters, Shola Adewusi

28. The A Word (2016)

Drama | IMDB 7.7 The Hughes family work and love and fight like every other family. Then, their youngest son is diagnosed with autism and they don’t feel like every other family anymore. Stars: Morven Christie

29. Wanted (2016)

Drama | IMDB 7.6 Two strangers are prime suspects in a murder. Stars: Rebecca Gibney, Geraldine Hakewill

30. Lip Service (2010)

Drama | IMDB 7.6 Lives, loves & lusts of Lipstick Lesbians in Scotland. Stars: Fiona Button, Heather Peace, Natasha O’Keeffe

31. Marcella (2016)

Crime, Drama, Mystery | IMDB 7.4 Marcella Backland left the Metropolitan Police for the sake of her family, only to have her husband leave her. She returns to her job on the murder squad, investigating a case that seems disturbingly familiar to her. Stars: Anna Friel, Nina Sosanya

32. Motherland (2016)

Comedy | IMDB 7.4 Its about navigating the trials and traumas of middle-class motherhood, looking at the competitive side and unromantic take on parenting – not the cute and acceptable public face of motherhood. Stars: Anna Maxwell Martin, Lucy Punch, Diane Morgan

33. Z: The Beginning of Everything (2015-2017)

Biography, Drama | IMDB 7.3 Z is a biography series based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern Belle who becomes the original flapper. Stars: Christina Ricci, Kristine Nielsen

34. Girlboss (2017)

Comedy | IMDB 7.1 Sophia, a misfit, discovers a passion for fashion, becoming an unlikely businesswoman in the process. As her business grows, however, she has to learn to cope with life as her own boss. This show is loosely based on the true story of Nasty Gal Founder, Sophia Amoruso. Stars: Britt Robertson, Ellie Reed

35. Undercover (I) (2016)

Drama, Thriller | IMDB 6.7 A lawyer returns to Britain to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions. She begins to suspect that everything she knew about the man she has been married to for the past 20 years is a lie. Stars: Sophie Okonedo, Shannon Hayes

36. Teen Titans Go! (2013-)

Animation, Action, Comedy | IMDB 4.8 Superhero roommates Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy love saving the day, but what happens when they’re done fighting crime?

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p.s. Suits and Peaky Blinders were recommended too, but I’ve seen some of these and the storylines I saw are heavily dominated by male characters, so I haven’t included them. Grimm and Love, Lies and Records were suggested but do in fact contain sexual violence. Sexual violence might still be implied or mentioned in one or two others in this list but there should be no graphic descriptions or depictions.

What are your favorite TV shows with strong women? Please add them in the comments!

253 comments

KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

Tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

Tfs

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

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KimJ M
KimJ M2 months ago

Tfs

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John B
John B2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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John W
John W2 months ago

Yawn

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bob P
bob Petermann3 months ago

Thanks

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Sonia M
Sonia M3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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