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VA Maryland Health Care System


Health Watch Spring 2017

Intimate Partner Violence –

Help with the Homefront

Each year, more than 12 million Americans – both women and men – are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Julia Caplan, the program coordinator for the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Assistance Program at the VA Maryland Health Care System, reminds us that Intimate Partner Violence is a pervasive concern that impacts an individuals' well-being, especially their health. The VA has established a program to address IPV among Veterans, caregivers and staff, and provides assistance for those who are experiencing violence as well as those who are using violence.

"Intimate Partner Violence is a health problem, not simply a social issue," Caplan says. "IPV directly impacts health-from sleep problems to GI issues. I want Veterans to be connected to services that can help them achieve and maintain well-being and live a fulfilling life," she says, noting that as with all health care, assistance is confidential.

IPV refers to physical, sexual and emotional/psychological abuse, as well as stalking and other forms of intimidation and control, such as financial abuse and isolation. It can occur in any intimate relationship, but doesn't require sexual intimacy or cohabitation. "IPV is an experience, not a diagnosis," Caplan explains. "It's not a permanent condition."

Social worker talking with a Veteran.To learn more or access IPV services, Veterans can speak with their social worker or contact Ms. Caplan directly at 410-605-7000, extension 4120. Veterans in need of emergency assistance can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255. For emergency situations or in the event of imminent danger, call 9-1-1.
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