To be a part of the American army is a matter of pride for most. Unfortunately, the same may not hold true for women who play an equally important role in the U.S. military.
The past couple of years has witnessed an increase in crimes against women, specifically related to sexual assault, in the U.S. military. A fact sheet by the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) states that one in five women and one in 100 men have admitted to been victims of military sexual trauma (MST). The figures exhibit statistics of only those who have chosen to come forward. Many still bear the burden in silence, fearing loss of employment and could be working with their abusers.
Sexual assault may include experiences of rape, attempted rape or sexually explicit comments or gestures.Most occur during active military service. The trauma that follows the incident results in psychological distress equivalent to that experienced in combat and military expeditions. The result is a prolonged stage of depression that gradually deteriorates into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Women veterans and PTSD
According to the U.S. Department of Labor,81-93 percent female veterans have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives. Further, as per VA, among women veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan,30 percent have been diagnosed with PTSD, while 27 percent female veterans of Vietnam had been diagnosed with PTSD sometime in their postwar life. This disorder, if left untreated, can result in victims contemplating suicide or having an increased tendency to cause self-harm.
The ordeal does not end here for the female veterans. A 2016 report by the Human Rights Watch revealed that thousands of military service personnel lost their jobs in the army after complaining of sexual assault. The report disclosed that often the discharge papersof such personnel recorded incriminating reasons for the demobilization, leading to stigma, which prevented them from getting jobs or benefits.
In addition, an evaluation of the records of veterans who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan uncovered that a significant percentage of them experienced homelessness after receiving treatment for MST consequent to being disbanded from the military. With no jobs and no benefits, most of these people are left homeless.
Helping women regain self-respect
The problem of sexual assault is common worldwide and is not limited to Americans alone. Sovereign Health of Arizona is a women-only treatment center in Chandler, Arizona that deals with cases of trauma and abuse. The clinicians available at the center use evidence-based treatment methods to assess the mental state of their female patients while trying to detect any possible symptoms of underlying mental health problems or effects of trauma on their mental health conditions. The circumstances and experiences of each patient are unique, resulting in patients availing customized treatment plans as a part of the recovery procedure.
The idea behind the entire treatment procedure is not only complete recovery but also enabling patients to be engaged back in life and society with the help of life-building skills. Mental illness demands constant support and guidance as opposed to existing stigma and ruthless discrimination.
It is imperative to get your loved one checked for possible psychiatric illnesses while helping them avail timely treatment. The Sovereign Health provides holistic treatments for all kinds of mental health disorders including PTSD at its mental health facilities in California. You can call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our representatives to know more about our residential mental health treatment programs in California.