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Seeking an always-welcoming health care environment
Life may never be the same for those people who have known sexual assault or harassment. The pain of the event may remain throughout a person’s lifetime. One place where you should always be safe—and never experience harassment or assault—is where you receive your health care.
VA is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. It has about 374,000 employees and provides care at over 1,400 health care facilities to over 9 million Veterans. Most Veterans would agree that VA serves them well. And it does. But for some Veterans, VA may not feel like a welcoming place.
It's important to VA that its facilities are healthy environments for patients, their caregivers, visitors, and staff members. A healthy environment is one that is safe, welcoming, and free of harassment. VA staff members know that anything less than these standards is not acceptable.
The White Ribbon VA campaign is a way for VA to show that it is not going to put up with sexual harassment. The campaign is a national call to action to eliminate sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence in VA facilities. It is an all-hands-on-deck movement where everyone—Veteran or non-Veteran and regardless of gender—can be active in helping to end harassment and sexual assault. An important part of this is a pledge to never commit, excuse, or stay silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence.
On April 14, Secretary Denis McDonough led hundreds of VA leadership teams, VA employees, and members of Veterans Service Organizations in making the White Ribbon VA pledge during a virtual ceremony. VA reaffirmed its commitment to be harassment-free as attendees promised to never commit, excuse, or stay silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence.
Please join your fellow Veterans who have already taken the pledge. Be part of the movement to make a welcoming and safe health care environment that is free of harassment and sexual assault.
The White Ribbon VA Pledge
I, [your name], pledge to never commit, excuse or stay silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence against others.