Additional Guidance - VHA Assault and Harassment Prevention Office
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VHA Assault and Harassment Prevention Office

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Additional Guidance

If You Are Experiencing an Emergency, Dial 9-1-1

Reporting

Contact your local VA medical center and ask to speak to your local VA Police Officer or Patient Advocate.

Patient Advocates are the VHA points-of-contact (POC) when a Veteran, caregiver, volunteer, or visitor reports an incident of harassment, sexual harassment or sexual assault.

    The Patient Advocate:
  • ensures VA Police are notified of the incident
  • documents the experiencer’s* report in VA’s internal tracking system
  • follows the complaint-resolution process
  • contacts VA medical or mental health services as needed
  • provides a list of VA and community resources as requested by the experiencer*

Bystander Intervention

  • Techniques
    Recognize and respond safely to a situation that is potentially hostile or to a behavior that may be harassing so that the situation does not get worse.
  • Training
    Learn how to respond when you notice behaviors that could lead to, or are, harassment, sexual assault, or other forms of aggression.

Important Terms

  • Experiencer*—The individual who has been assaulted or harassed.
  • Harassment—Harassment is any unwelcome conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
  • Sexual Assault—Sexual assault is any type of unwelcome touch that is without the explicit consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity.
  • Sexual Harassment—Sexual harassment is unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.