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Women Veterans Health Care

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Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a specific type of domestic violence that refers to physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as stalking, between current or former intimate partners (e.g., boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse). IPV can happen to anyone.

It can happen no matter your age, income, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability.

Some examples of IPV include:

  • Name calling or saying you are "crazy" or "worthless"
  • Controlling your money or spending
  • Keeping you from friends and family
  • Controlling where you go/what you wear
  • Embarrassing you in front of others to prove a point
  • Threatening to harm you, your loved ones, or pets
  • Shoving, kicking, restraining, coercing, or manipulating you
  • Punching, hitting with objects
  • Using force in any way
  • Forcing or coercing you to engage in unwanted sexual activity or when you are unable to decline

Harassment or violence of any kind can feel very personal and scary. You might feel like it's hard to trust anyone. But VA understands and wants to be a trusted resource for Veterans who have experienced IPV.

IPV can happen whether or not you live together, are sexually intimate, or had a past relationship. It may occur often or only once in a while and may happen over a number of years. NO ONE deserves to be treated this way.

Although IPV affects all genders, one third of women Veterans experience IPV in their lives compared to less than a quarter of civilian women. And women Veterans who identify as LGBTQ+ are 2 - 3 times more likely to report IPV than other women Veterans. Also, women Veterans who report experiencing IPV are three times more likely to have housing instability or homelessness.

Women Veterans may also struggle with using aggression or violence in their relationships, especially if they've experienced or witnessed relationship violence during their lives. It is also possible for someone to both experience and use IPV. In fact, Veteran couples may experience and use aggression towards one another. VA has services to help improve relationship health and safety and develop skills for communication, understanding and managing anger, resolving conflict, and managing difficult emotions safely.

What services does VA provide for IPV?

If you are in danger and need help right now, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline or at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. Or start a live chat.

The VA Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program offers guidance for you, and your partner if needed, to help you have healthier relationships. If you would like confidential help, please contact your local Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program coordinator.

IPV coordinators can provide a safety planning guide and link you with VA providers, local community-based support and domestic violence shelters, and legal services. You also may be eligible for programs offered through VA's Homeless Programs Office.

How do I access services for IPV at VA?

Contact an IPV coordinator at your nearest VA medical center or visit the VA IPV website.

If you don't already use VA health care, you you may want to use the following online tools:

Find out if you are eligible for VA health care.

Enroll in VA health care if you haven't already.

Find your local VA and make an appointment.

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The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to women's health

If you have questions or can't find what you're looking for, you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Trained women representatives can also help you with issues such as:

  • Enrolling in VA health care if you have not already
  • Setting up a medical appointment in your area
  • Answering questions about eligibility (including questions about disability ratings) and other VA benefits like employment, education, and home loans

WVCC representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Where can I find more information, help and resources on IPV?

If you're experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness:

  • Contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-424-3838 for free, confidential help 24/7. A trained VA counselor will offer information about VA homeless programs, health care, and other services in your area.
  • Visit VA Homeless Programs to learn about VA programs for Veterans who are homeless.
  • Call or visit your local VA Community Resource and Referral Center. Our staff can help you find non-VA resources you may qualify for in your community.

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The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA. The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA.
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