WPB to Host Event Honoring Sexual Assault Survivors - West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
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West Palm Beach VA Medical Center


WPB to Host Event Honoring Sexual Assault Survivors

April 3, 2017

West Palm Beach, FL – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and this year, VA’s national theme for SAAM is "Standing Together to Empower Military Sexual Trauma Survivors.” Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is the term the Department of Veteran’s Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred while a person was serving in the military. The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center invites Veterans, local media and members of the community to join us for the Clothesline Project event to recognize and bring awareness to this very important issue. The event takes place on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the facility’s main Atrium.

Each year, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center hosts the Clothesline Project Event in honor of SAAM and those who are victims of sexual assault and MST. The VA provides free and confidential counseling and treatment to male and female Veterans for any mental or physical health conditions related to experiences of MST. The Clothesline Project is a visual display used to raise awareness about the impact of MST, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Survivors create artwork on t-shirts that reflects their experiences of sexual trauma and recovery. Shirts are hung side-by-side, along with displays of other artwork, to raise awareness of the impact of sexual trauma. Both male and female Veterans are invited to participate in the Clothesline Project.

The Clothesline Project grew out of a grass roots effort beginning in 1990 to educate, break the silence, and bear witness to violence against women and has now grown to include the growing number of men. This project has been held by VA Medical Centers across the Nation for many years to continue this work. From its inception the West Palm Beach VA’s Clothesline Project has grown from 13 shirts in its first year to 168 last fiscal year.

During the display, Mental Health Providers are present to provide brochures and information on the many services offered by the VA. Survivors are educated on the common reactions to trauma which can happen even many years after the occurrence.

For more information about what the VA is doing to help survivors of MST please visit https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp.

Members of the media who wish to cover this event may contact Ms. Kenita D. Gordon, public affairs officer for the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center at (561) 422-8602 or Kenita.Gordon@va.gov.

About West Palm Beach VA Medical Center

The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is a general medical and surgical facility and teaching hospital that provides a full range of patient care services as well as comprehensive medical education and residency programs. The facility is one of the largest VA Medical Center’s in the country and employs more than 2,600 staff members who care for more than 60,000 Veterans. The organization is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations.

The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center also has six contractor operated Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Stuart, Ft. Pierce, Vero Beach and Okeechobee, Florida, serving seven counties on Florida’s Treasure Coast. To learn more, please visit www.westpalmbeach.va.gov or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VAWestPalmBeach.