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VA Puget Sound promotes healthy and safe relationships during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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VA Puget Sound Health Care System is promoting healthy relationships during Domestic Violence Awareness Month as part of the national call to action to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic and intimate partner violence.

This year’s theme is, “Building Relationship Health and Safety for Life,” which aims to increase awareness of the importance of healthy and safe relationships across the lifespan.

In addition to the month-long awareness campaign, patients, visitors and staff are encouraged to wear purple October 20, 2022—National Wear Purple Day—to show support of healthy relationships.

“It is a lifelong journey to build and enhance healthy intimate relationships. To cultivate healthy relationships, unhealthy behaviors must be addressed, and early intervention is vital,” said VA Puget Sound Health Care System Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Coordinator Becky Barton. “For those impacted by intimate partner or domestic violence, healing and growth are crucial to recovery.”

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can include verbal, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse, as well as stalking from a current or former intimate partner. It affects everyone across age, race, sexual orientation, gender, and socioeconomic status. It has far-reaching negative impacts on individuals’ physical, emotional, and social health.  Both using violence and experiencing violence have negative effects on the individual, family, and society at large. 

There are experienced VA Puget Sound providers available to counsel Veterans and their partners on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. The VA supports relationship health and safety and is a confidential place to discuss questions, concerns or to seek assistance.

Individuals in immediate danger, should call 911. Individuals wanting assistance can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233 (SAFE) or one of VA Puget Sound’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program coordinators at 206-716-5784, for additional support, resources, and safety planning.  And to learn more about the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program, visit

VA has been committed to applying the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP) since 2014 to promote safe, healthy relationships for Veterans, their intimate partners and VA staff. Facility IPVAP coordinators and programs raise awareness, provide professional development and education, develop professional standards in clinical practice, use data to inform program operations and identify best practices using evidence-based and trauma-informed practices.

Additionally, White Ribbon VA is a national call to action to eliminate sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence across the Department of Veterans Affairs by promoting a positive change in culture so that the actions outlined in the pledge become the organizational norm. White Ribbon VA is an awareness movement where All—regardless of their gender—can participate.

White Ribbon VA was inspired by the White Ribbon organization which is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, and to promote gender equity and healthy relationships. Since its inception in Toronto in 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign has spread to over 60 countries around the world, including college campuses, military bases and stations, and within a number of states across the country.

About VA Puget Sound Health Care System:

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to approximately 156,000 Veterans across the Pacific Northwest—approximately 120,000 are enrolled with a primary care team at one of its 11 care sites: two main campuses (American Lake and Seattle), seven outpatient clinics (Edmonds, Everett, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup and Silverdale) and two Community Resource & Referral Centers (Georgetown in Seattle and Renton). As the VA’s 4th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease; diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit or call 800-329-8387.  For Veterans in Crisis, please use the Veterans Crisis line at 800-273-8255 (press 1).

Veterans who have not explored health care eligibility are encouraged to find out by visiting or by calling 877-222-8387 to learn more.

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