Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
What do you know about Intimate Partner Violence?
Intimate Partner Violence or (IPV) is defined as physical, sexual or mental harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Examples would include name calling, stalking, threatening you or your possessions, hitting, kicking, or forcing unwanted sexual contact. This type of violence can occur within same sex or opposite sex relationships and does not have to include sexual intimacy. Warning signs of IPV could include unexplained injuries, frequent emergency room visits, suicide attempts, abusing alcohol or drugs, avoiding professional care, and fearful behavior. IPV can happen to anyone, but it is preventable.
What can you do if you or someone you know is a victim of IPV? Do not be afraid to ask for help. Taking that initial step can be difficult. However, it is important to know there is treatment and support for mental and physical health issues that could arise from IPV. Work with a professional to develop a safety plan such as avoiding rooms with no access to outside and identifying people who are supportive in case you need a place to stay.
VA has an Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program for Veterans, families, caregivers, and VHA employees dealing with IPV. Ask to speak with Kathy Karl, IPV Coordinator, at 573-814-6000 ext. 53802. She can offer information about community resources and other services.