A pilot program was recently launched by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help improve services for veterans who have been impacted by intimate partner violence (IPV) or sexual assault. This is a serious concern in the US that can leave lasting effects on someone’s physical and mental well-being for a lifetime.
The VA states that this program will have a two-year initiative that focuses on strengthening community partnerships, training for VA staff and community partners, identifying effective clinical interventions, and providing outreach to underserved populations. This will then open the discussion for providers to talk to their patients about the connection between abuse and their physical/mental health.
IPV can be defined as physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, and psychological aggression by a current or former partner. These four main types of IPV can include:
Intimate partner violence affects men and women of all ages, but women in particular experience IPV at higher rates. According to the VA management and Social Work Executive Director Jill Debord, one in three women and one in four men have reported instances of IPV.
The VA’s National Center for post-traumatic stress disorder has brought more attention to veterans with their research showing that they may be “disproportionally impacted” by IPV and that they are at an increased risk of experiencing aggression in their relationships.
All veterans are encouraged to contact their nearest VA medical center to get in touch with an Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Coordinator. Other options are available for you and your loved ones through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY). If you need legal advice or information to protect yourself financially from your partner, contact one of our experienced attorneys today to find out how they can help you.