Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (SORCC)
White Ribbon Campaign
Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics is proud to be an adopter of the White Ribbon-VA, in support of the national Stand Up to Stop Harassment Now! Campaign. The White Ribbon-VA campaign aligns with Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. The first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was designated in October 1987. This month serves to focus our attention on the deep impact of domestic violence and abuse on those individuals. It also gives us the opportunity to join with Sexual Assault Awareness Month to say it is time to rise against violence.
You can help take a stand today. Wear a purple ribbon to honor those who have experienced domestic violence. Add a white ribbon and take White Ribbon VA Pledge to answer the call to Stand Up to Stop Harassment Now. Recognize this month by wearing both a purple and white ribbon. By taking action to eliminate violence, you give a voice to those whose experience pain may otherwise be silenced.
The aim of White Ribbon-VA is to eliminate sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence in VA Healthcare settings and communities to promote a positive change in the culture.
White Ribbon-VA asks people to proudly wear white ribbons as a sign of their pledge to never to commit, excuse, or stay silent about sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence against others.
As many as 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are impacted by intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, and Veterans may be at a higher risk than civilian population. Understanding this need, the VA developed the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Assistance Program. IPV programs are a public health issue and offered at every VA medical center and provides person-centered, trauma informed, and recovery-oriented services to enhance safety, reduce risk, and promote healthy relationships for Veterans, their partners, as well as VHA employees.
The healthcare setting is recognized as the best place to identify those who are experiencing and/or using IPV in order to provide education, resources, and intervention. We know that providing these services can lead to more holistic care and reduce healthcare costs. The IPVAP is leading the nation in making this happen.
A quick look at the data provides a shocking reality. In terms of domestic violence, an average of 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner. Health care workers are as much as five times more likely to experience an injury due to workplace violence as those in other professions. Numbers represent people who have suffered
These data points are important. They demonstrate the impact of violence in terms of numbers. But those numbers lose meaning if the impact does not motivate action. The challenge is how to use this month as an opportunity to reflect on what we can do to address violence in different forms. The importance of this topic is that these numbers are not just numbers: they also represent people who have suffered and are suffering. They also represent those who we may be able to prevent from suffering in the future.
The odds are great that you may know someone who has experienced or is experiencing violence. It might be you. If that is the case, we stand with you and we must all stand up against violence. We are drawing attention to this topic and pledging to do something to make a difference.
We begin to address the problem by treating others with dignity and respect, by bringing attention to violent and harassing comments and behaviors, by Standing Up to Stop Harassment Now, by moving from a bystander to becoming an upstander. An upstander is someone who advocates for an individual who is being attacked, harassed or harmed.
We do this by combining our competency as health care workers with a heart that clearly states to all who come into a VA facility that we represent a place of healing – not a place for harming.
Silence can be deafening
We do not spend enough time talking about mean, bullying, disrespectful comments or harmful behavior experienced by patients, providers, trainees and other staff. That silence can be deafening when you have experienced harassment or assault. This month provides a focused time for us to double down on our identity as providing care for our nation’s Veterans with empathy, compassion and competency.
How do we take our competencies and apply them to this problem? The first step starts with recognizing the problem and then making a commitment to act. Make White Ribbon VA Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month about increasing awareness in others. And use it to understand the actions you can take and take a stand against violence.
Will you help break the silence on violence? Will you dedicate yourself to work individually and collectively to ensure those who experience harassment or assault can find an advocate to stand with them? Will you reflect and mobilize on how to discuss this topic more openly with patients, visitors, trainees and colleagues?
The White Ribbon Campaign is active in over 60 nations across the world including Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Italy and the UK. This is the time to make a commitment. Will you stand and take White Ribbon VA Pledge? Veterans served our country, now it's our turn to serve them. For more information, contact VASORCC Local White Ribbon VA Champion: Heather Jenard, Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Coordinator at 541-826-2111 Ext. 3559 or the National DV Hotline: 1-800-799-7233. You can also find additional information at the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence or The National Domestic Violence Hotline website.
Please see the reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) for additional information about domestic violence, as well as the US Department of Labor and The US Bureau of Labor Statistics for data about violence in health care settings.