Texas VA employees wear purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month


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HARLINGEN, Texas — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System (VCB) were encouraged to wear purple on October 10 in order to help raise awareness about the serious, preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans.

Veterans Medical Centers across the country did the same as a statement of unity and solidarity for victims of Intimate Partner Violence, commonly referred to as IPV.

“Thank you to all the VA employees, interns and volunteers who participated and sent in their photos,” said Martha Bustamante, the IPV program coordinator for VCB.

“The photos were sent to the National IPV Assistance Program director’s office to show our spirit of concern for those who experience IPV and those who use the IPV Assistance Program. These images are important in reminding victims of domestic violence that they are not alone and that the VA is committed to helping Veterans, their partners and VA staff who are impacted by IPV.”

With colorful banners and signs in some of their hands, staff members at the Harlingen VA Outpatient Clinic pose for a group photo while wearing various purple garments on October 10, 2018. The staff wore purple during the month of October in observance of this year's Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

With colorful banners and signs in some of their hands, staff members at the Harlingen VA Outpatient Clinic pose for a group photo while wearing various purple garments on October 10, 2018. The staff wore purple during the month of October in observance of this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs photo by Abel Flores)

Individuals interested in learning more about the IPV Assistance Program can visit: https://www.socialwork.va.gov/IPV/Index.asp

Additionally, VA medical centers across the country have IPV coordinators are in place to provide more details about the program or help victims of IPV.

Veterans and patients can also ask their providers for help or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline .

National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to help victims and survivors of domestic violence. 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).

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Author

Luis Loza Gutierrez

Luis H. Loza Gutierrez joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in October of 2017 and serves as a public affairs specialist for VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System.

In addition to winning multiple awards as a writer, photographer, illustrator and graphic artist during his more than 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as a public affairs specialist and photojournalist, L.G. (as he was called by his fellow Airmen) also served as a member for the Air Force Honor Guard at the base-level during his last permanent-duty station in North Dakota.

He volunteered to deploy out of cycle twice in a period of less 18 months, the second of which included a six-month tour as a member of the public affairs team at USF-I Headquarters at Camp Victory in Baghdad.

The now retired non-commissioned officer returned home to the Rio Grande Valley in deep South Texas in November of 2015, and feels enthusiastic and honored to continue to serve his fellow brothers- and sisters-in-arms as a member of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

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