The subject of Women Warriors has been part of our Nation and it’s Military from the beginning of our history. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have now brought this issue to the forefront of concern.
We presently have over 180,000 women in the military, or about 20% of our active duty personnel. They are carrying rifles and going “outside the wire” the same as male Troops, experiencing the horrors of war and dealing with Combat Trauma, the same as males, and yet they carry another burden; the jokes, the sexual harassment, the rape and the demoralization dumped on them by their fellow male Warriors.
With women in combat now, there comes a new classification for their abuse. It’s called Military Sexual Trauma. Besides the Combat Trauma that everyone has when they walk off the battlefield, women Warriors also have to deal with Sexual Trauma as well.
Being a man, I do not pretend to understand what our Women Warriors are dealing with. The effects of war are the same for all of us, but how we process these traumas is very different. Putting it bluntly, Women do not process trauma the same as men.
I have talked to a number of women Iraq an Afghan Vets. And it’s very clear, that most of the ones I’ve talked to, don’t trust men. And why in the hell would they?
The following are Resources for Women Warriors. Please keep me posted on any others that you know of and think will be of importance here.
Offering MST survivors a change to be heard discreetly…
“Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Affects All Ranks, Gender, and all branch of service. It affects everyone. In unpublished data, 15.1% of women and men 0.7% have reported MST; and women are “4x more likely,” and men “3x more likely” to end up with PTSD as the result of an MST assault. If you know someone or are the person who has experienced Military Sexual Trauma, I am offering a chance to show the public in numbers and in a discreet way what happened while serving. We have a voice and that voice deserves to be heard.”
“Providing an online delivery of recovery support services, The Woman’s Heart has been operating since 2002, attracting hundreds of women in search of crisis support services. A significant data point was the frequency of women veterans disclosing their chronic use of alcohol and drugs as a means of coping or self-medicating their symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and military sexual assault. The online crisis ratio trends show 8 out of 10 women veterans are in crisis at the time of contact.
“This brought about our greatest initiative, Grace After Fire (“Grace”). Grace is designed to serve women veterans from all eras and branches of service (currently 1.8M), and is preparing to meet the high numbers of women (approximately 14 percent of the armed services) currently serving. Although women veterans represent less than 6 percent of veterans accessing VA healthcare, 71 percent of the women who do use the VA System have a mental health concern. Unfortunately, a challenge that can occur in offering VA services to women is providing accessible gender-responsive and trauma-informed care at all locations.
When Women Hurt… Women Help at www.graceafterfire.org
Women for Women International at www.womenforwomen.org
This is a website for international issues that women are facing. It gives you a global perspective. This isn’t a problem for America only.
Women’s Army Corps Veterans (WAC) Association at www.armywomen.org
This group has been around a very long time and has helped women since WWI. Check them out…lots of experience.
American Women in Uniform, Veterans Too! at Userpages.aug.com/captbarb
This is a really interesting and informative website. Capt. Barb is no less the same. This is a wealth of history and personal stories about Women Warriors!
Coalition Against Sexual Assault in the Military Services (CASAMS) at www.militarysexualtrauma.org
This is a 24 hour HOT LINE, and the program they have is worth checking out. It gives anyone under stress a place to check in a bit.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) at www.nchv.org
This is a site and organization that offers assistance in a number of ways. Won’t hurt to check it out, even if just to understand the homeless issue for our Women Warriors.
United States Department of Veterans Affairs at www1.va.gov/womenvet
Don’t be scared off by the DVA’s size. You’ll want to check out this site and look at the help the DVA offers. They are expanding the program and very anxious to assist our Troops. Give them a chance.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) at www.taps.org
An excellent resource for Survivor assistance and information on what is going on in the Government on these issues.