According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience intimate partner violence (IPV) during their lifetime. Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries are at an even greater risk for IPV. Yet, both victims and perpetrators of IPV oftentimes don’t seek help. They are instead motivated by feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, or fear to keep quiet and accept the violence around them.

Dr. LeAnn Bruce, National Program Manager for the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP), joins this week’s episode of Borne the Battle to share why no one should ever feel ashamed to seek IPV support and describes what services VA offers to help Veterans in need. Among the issues Dr. Bruce discussed include:

With COVID-19 and natural disasters disrupting lives across the country, promoting IPV awareness will be more crucial than ever during this October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Moments of crisis or long periods of isolation can amplify violence in relationship conflicts or abusive situations. IPVAP coordinators remain ready at every VA Medical Center to guide any Veteran or their partner in the right direction.

VHA also encourages everyone to make the White Ribbon VA Pledge to stop violence against others. In acknowledging the ways violence and harassment can manifest, the world can become a safer place for everyone.

If in need of 24/7 support, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 (SAFE) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.


Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:

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Calvin Wong is an intern with the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.

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