Disabled American Veterans Take White Ribbon VA Pledge
In August 2021, male and female veterans attending the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Seminar in Tampa, Fla. Made White Ribbon VA’s pledge to pledge to end sexual harassment and assault.
Lelia Jackson described White Ribbon VA’s pledge as “a simple pledge in which you individually commit to never apologize, commit, or remain silent about ending harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence. against others.
“It’s that simple, but a really powerful move.”
Jackson is director of the VA Assault and Harassment Prevention Office.
Eliminating sexual harassment and assault is a top priority at VA. The new Deborah Sampson Act focuses on improving health services and benefits for female veterans.
Working group to end aggression at the local level
Ending sexual harassment and sexual assault is a key part of the law. The law also requires VA to improve its harassment and sexual assault policy and strengthen its reporting procedures.
Additionally, the law directs VA to include state, local, and tribal veterans agencies to sit on the VA Secretary’s Task Force to assist in efforts to end harassment and sexual assault at the local level. .
Jackson discussed addressing these issues will require educating VA employees and veterans, such as providing bystander intervention training. The training provides techniques for them to speak up when they witness harassment or sexual assault.
Witness Intervention training for Veterans is expected to be offered this fall.
Ending harassment and assault is a team effort
“It’s happening in our community, and we say it has to stop at the door before entering a VA facility,” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women and one in ten men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Jackson told attendees that ending harassment and sexual assault in VA facilities and surrounding communities is a team effort.
She encouraged seminar attendees to commit to being part of the solution by making the White Ribbon VA pledge:
“I (indicate your name) pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault or domestic violence against others. ”
Veterans can document their commitment on the website below: