VA Cares! Intimate Partner Violence & LGBTQ Veterans Awareness


Woman: Honestly, it was
hard adjusting for both of us, so I know we were both going
through a hard time. So I said, you know,
“I don’t want to do this. I’m gonna, you know,
break things off.” Well, apparently,
nobody breaks up with her, and she beat me up, and, um… yeah, beat the crap out of me. She broke the blood vessels
in my eye, and I had claw marks along my face,
like big gouges. Here I was an officer, and I just got beat up
by my girlfriend. It’s an embarrassing thing. You know, you feel weak, you know, especially
that it happened to you. And so, the most important thing
is understanding that there’s resources out there,
you know, that help LGBT. I didn’t realize, honestly,
when I got out how much I was holding in. I started going to the VA regularly. They just swooped in. They recognized me
and they said, “We care.” We want to make it clear
that intimate partner violence can happen to anybody. I think the first thing to do
is just to make sure you’re safe, and supported,
and your basic needs are met. It’s not a weakness.
It’s actually– it’s stronger for you
to ask for help. It’s often when people
have gone through trauma, there’s a lot of healing
that needs to happen. No matter who they are
or where they come from, their sexual preference,
we do not discriminate here and we want to make sure
that they feel comfortable with the care we provide. It is part of my goal
to always tell them, “It’s not in your mind.
It’s real, and you’re not alone.” We have psychiatrists,
psychologists, social workers,
doctors and nurses. We train from LVNs to RNs. We have social service technicians. We have everyone
that you can dream of to help you. It is 2018, and we’re dealing
with a different population. It has different values,
different beliefs, and that it is multi-faceted and we embrace all that
here at the VA. It’s very population-focused, and we get to think about,
you know, how what we do today is maybe just one step
in how there can be healing ten years or 20 years or 40 years
down the road. ( music playing )

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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