What are the Veteran-centric factors in DV/IPV? - VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB)
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VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB)

 

What are the Veteran-centric factors in DV/IPV?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What is are the Veteran-centric factors?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: What is are the Veteran-centric factors? (VA graphic by Luis H. Loza Gutierrez)

By Dr. Jan Marie Capaccioli, PsyD / Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Coordinator (IPVAP-C)
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

 What is are the Veteran-centric factors?

HARLINGEN, Texas -- As we continue into the third week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I would like to share some information on what are some compounding factors that may impact Veterans who come to the VA for services who may be experiencing or using IPV/DV.

 There are “Veteran-Centric” factors that may impact Veterans who are experiencing or using violence on others. This diagram represents the percentages of some Veterans experiencing IPV before, during, and after the military service.

Veteran-Centric Factors include:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Military Family Life Stress
  • Separation & Isolation
  • Mental Health Concerns
  • Alcohol and/or Drug Use
  • Loss of Trust/Moral Distress
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Increased Anger
  • Decreased Frustration Tolerance
Dichter, et al, Military Medicine, 2015; 180 (11): 1124-27

If theses compounding factors go unchecked or not treated, they can lead to an increase risk of:

  • Divorce/Broken Families
  • Loss of Support
  • Homelessness
  • Joblessness
  • Poverty
  • Increased Healthcare Needs
  • Justice Involvement
  • Suicide and/or Homicide

There are other negative health behaviors that a Veteran may exhibit; and usually the more severe the violence, the stronger its relationship is to some of these negative behaviors:

Negative Health Behaviors: (1) Engaging in high-risk sexual behavior like: unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, trading sex for food/money/drugs; (2) Using harmful substances: cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, drinking & driving; (3) Unhealthy diet-related behaviors: Fasting, vomiting, abusing diet pills, overeating; (4) Overuse of health services: multiple visits for various complaints and injuries.

One of the most heavily cited protective factors for helping Veterans overcome PTSD, Depression, and Moral Injury are having strong healthy connections with a significant other and family members. When these supportive relationships breakdown, these individuals are at even greater risk for the other adverse events.

For anonymous, confidential help 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) for deaf or hard of hearing individuals. Help is available, and you are not alone. If you are interested in improving your current relationship, reach out to the IPV Assistance Program coordinator here at VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) at 956-618-7100, extension 67092.

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