At VA, we are committed to maintaining a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment in every VA facility. As VA Secretary Denis McDonough said, “Every VA patient, their families and caregivers, as well as sexual assault survivors, staff, visitors and advocates should feel safe in all VA facilities.”

As part of this commitment, VA has released Bystander Intervention Training for Veterans, available online now. This free training is an opportunity for Veterans to learn ways to contribute to a healthy and safe environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Recognize when harassment is taking place

Bystander Intervention Training for Veterans gives tools and techniques to respond if witness to harassment or sexual assault.

The training will increase confidence in recognizing situations where harassment is taking place. It will equip Veterans with knowledge and skills to prevent those situations from getting worse and to seek out help when needed.

Harassment and sexual assault have a negative effect on individuals, so much so that Veterans who have experienced harassment on VA grounds are more likely to delay or miss health care appointments because they don’t feel safe.

35 minutes, free online training

Knowing how and when to intervene supports a safe, healthy, and welcoming environment for everyone visiting a VA facility.

Intervening can sometimes be intimidating; this training covers information and techniques that are practical and that Veterans can use right away if they observe harassment or sexual assault.

Please take Bystander Intervention Training for Veterans. The training requires no registration, takes only 30-35 minutes to complete and can be accessed from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Safely intervening if a Veteran observes harassment or sexual assault sends a powerful message about what is and is not acceptable behavior. By learning to recognize and respond to harassment, Veterans can contribute to a welcoming environment at VA.

By Gerald Sonnenberg is a senior marketing and communications specialist for the Employee Education System.

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Published on Sep. 26, 2021

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