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Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program

The VA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP) is committed to helping Veterans, their partners, and also VA staff who are impacted by Intimate Partner Violence. If you or someone you know could be experiencing and/or using IPV – help is available.

What is Intimate Partner Violence? 

Any violent behavior including, but not limited to, physical or sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression (including coercive acts) by a current or former intimate partner that occurs on a continuum of frequency and severity which ranges from one episode that might or might not have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over a period of years. It can occur in heterosexual or same-sex relationships and does not require sexual intimacy or cohabitation.

Emotional IPV

Emotional IPV is when a person tries to hurt their partner emotionally and mentally. It is common for emotional IPV to begin before other types of IPV.

Examples include:  

  • attempts to frighten
  • control or isolate
  • threats of acts or coercive tactics
  • Includes: threatening behavior, humiliation, accusing or blaming

Physical IPV

Physical IPV the intentional use of physical force with the potential for causing injury, death, disability or harm.

Examples include:

  • hitting
  • punching
  • kicking
  • choking,
  • use of weapons

Sexual IPV

Sexual IPV is unwanted sexual activity: threatened, attempted or completed.


Threats of violence

Stalking: repeated pattern of behavior that causes fear. May be in person or virtual by use of technology such as text message or social media platforms

Financial control: controlling money or ruining credit

Some people experience only one of these forms of violence, while others may experience more than one. IPV can be a single event or can last for many years. No matter what, no one deserves to be treated this way. 

Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe

What Are the Effects of IPV

Mental health

  • Sadness
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Being stressed out
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Blaming yourself for what happened

Physical health

  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Stomach problems
  • Bruises/cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Fatal injuries
  • Female health problems

Social Health

  • Avoiding new relationships
  • Feeling uncomfortable or unsafe in relationships
  • Money problems
  • Difficulties trusting people
  • Pulling away or isolating from friends and family
  • Homelessness
  • Job issues

Many People Within VA Can Help You Get Services

Contact our Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP) Coordinator, Jennifer King, LMSW at or the Social Work and Community Based Services office at

VA employees who are impacted by IPV can contact their Employee Assistance Program.

VA can provide community referrals for things such as legal advice, shelters, and support groups.

Talk to your primary care provider and they can refer you to a mental health specialist such as a social worker or psychologist.

October is National Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month

The VA cares about Veterans affected by Domestic Violence (DV) and IPV and recognizes that DV and IPV is a serious yet, preventable public health problem that may disproportionately affect Veterans. To help address the impact IPV has on Veterans, family members, and VA employees the IPVAP recommends and promotes the importance of reviewing intimate partner relationships for health and safety.


Jennifer King LMSW

IPVAP Coordinator

VA Ann Arbor health care



Additional Resources

The Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP) invites Veterans, caregivers, employees, and the community to learn about IPVAP and other VA programs that intersect with Intimate Partner Violence.