TVHS to host intimate partner violence assistance awareness event - Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
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Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

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TVHS to host intimate partner violence assistance awareness event

October 15, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) will observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month by hosting its third annual Expressive Arts as Medicine symposium. This year’s event will be at the Holy Trinity Community Church, 6727 Charlotte Pike, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, October 26.

The mission of the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Assistance Program is to provide a comprehensive person-centered, recovery-oriented assistance program for Veterans, their families and caregivers, and VA employees who experience intimate partner violence.

“IPV is a serious preventable public health problem that affects millions of Americans,” said event organizer Karen Roberts. “We want to make sure that Veterans and their families are aware that TVHS offers education and supportive resources to help with this problem,” she said.

Intimate partner violence is the most common cause of injury to women in the U.S. Studies suggest the unique psychological, social, and environmental factors associated with military service may contribute to elevated risk of intimate partner violence among Veterans. Deployments, family separation and reintegration, and histories of head trauma, mental illness, and substance abuse can all contribute to interpersonal conflict and increase the risk of intimate partner violence among Veterans.

The symposium allows Veterans who have experienced intimate partner violence to celebrate healing through the arts. There will be a live performance of My Father’s War, with Carol Ponder and Richard Kiefer, as well as a writing workshop for all in attendance. There will also be a panel of Veterans who will share their testimonies, a Veteran art work display and hands-on art activities.

Roberts said in addition to its healing power, the event is fun.

“Veterans who participated last year told us the symposium served as a bright light,” she said. “They told us they enjoyed seeing the creative works of their fellow Veterans, relaxing with others and sharing their experiences.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an observance which evolved from the Day of Unity held in October 1981. In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed and Congress designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989.

TVHS is an integrated tertiary health care system comprised of two hospitals, the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro and the Nashville Campus, as well as more than a dozen community-based outpatient clinics located in Tennessee and Kentucky. TVHS provides ambulatory care, primary care, and secondary care in acute medicine and surgery, specialized tertiary care, transplant services, spinal cord injury outpatient care, and a full range of extended care and mental health services.