VA wants everyone to feel safe and welcome at all VA facilities, and the department remains dedicated to the zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment and sexual assault. VA has partnered with White Ribbon USA and the National Association of Social Workers to implement the White Ribbon VA initiative.

This initiative encourages all to commit to helping end sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence by taking the White Ribbon VA pledge. The pledge is more than mere words – it’s an individual commitment to a VA free from these corrosive behaviors.

White Ribbon VA Pledge

I, [your name], pledge to never commit, excuse or stay silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence against others.

Definitions

Sexual harassment is any unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature and which is threatening in character, and includes unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. Gestures, jokes, whistling and catcalls such as, “You’re too cute to be a Veteran,” are examples of sexual harassment.

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or attempted sexual contact that occurs without the consent of the recipient. It includes rape and sexual coercion. Sexual assault can happen through physical force or threats of force, or if the offender used drugs or alcohol as part of the assault.

Domestic Violence is any violence (physical, non-physical) or abuse that occurs within the domestic sphere, or at home, and may include child abuse, elder abuse and other types of interpersonal violence. Deployments, family separation, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance misuse can lead to increased risk of Veterans experiencing or using domestic violence.

Armed with this knowledge, we invite you to take the White Ribbon VA pledge and join VA as we Stand Up to Stop Harassment Now.

“This is more than just a white ribbon. It is a symbol of a person’s commitment to uphold their White Ribbon VA pledge to be an active participant in ending sexual harassment and sexual assault in VA facilities and their communities at large,” said Lelia Jackson, director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Assault and Harassment Prevention Office.

VA staff are actively promoting White Ribbon VA to help provide a safe, welcoming and professional environment for all who work and visit VA facilities. Efforts are led by facility White Ribbon VA Champions that educate staff, encourage them to take the pledge, and help facilitate a positive change that will make the pledge an agency norm.

You can help

Take the White Ribbon VA pledge to demonstrate your commitment and make a positive impact in your community.

  • Document your pledge on the White Ribbon USA website.
  • Invite others to take the White Ribbon VA pledge and commit to preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence within the VA and community.

Together, we can ensure that all who enter or work at our VA facilities are treated with respect.

To learn more about White Ribbon VA, watch this two-minute video.

Policeman with K9 dog on point at a dorm doorWhite River Junction VA welcomes K9 Ripp to police team
Main room in libraryVA librarians working to get Veteran information to community libraries

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2 Comments

  1. Certified Lawyer for Sexual Harassment May 5, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Very Useful Information Based on Harassment

  2. VICTIMS OF VA ANN ARBOR April 12, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Really? Congressman on oversight tried to get to the bottom of the female veteran suicides associated with complaints against providers at Ann Arbor. They killed themselves after reporting to patient advocates and being put on a disruptive behavior flag limiting care. Do you read the OIG reports? The surveys and reviews the Healthcare systems conducts on themselves are manipulated to cover problems, the VA OIG was provided the audio of the VA Ann Arbor patient advocate supervisor admitting to talking staff out of making an OIG complaint about clinic communication problems (also confirmed on recording but not logged in system) and the abandonment of patients. As more VA Ann Arbor patients were abandoned without even a call, the wildly misused VISN10 Disruptive behavior program was used to silence the patients and surviving family members with the VA police.

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