What's worse than this information is that it isn't making national headlines. These paragraphs were included in an article about PTSD among female veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but it wasn't the lead.
Mental health experts say one of the biggest contributors to psychological problems for women in uniform is military sexual trauma - a term that covers verbal harassment and physical assault, which is a strong risk factor for PTSD.
Studies conducted by the VA health system vary, but generally about 20 percent of women report a physical assault during their service, Westrup says. "Unfortunately, a huge aspect of that experience is guilt and self-blame and shame on top of stress," she adds.
Last year, the Pentagon announced a new policy of confidentiality, so sexual assault victims can report the incident and get help but law enforcement and senior commanders are not immediately notified.
Serve and protect shouldn't mean for female soldiers: serve, protect and be on guard against your male counterparts 24/7 until you leave the military. Military discipline should include the discipline to not sexually harass or sexually assault.
If 20% of male soldiers were sexually assaulted during their service, is there any way that statistic wouldn't cause a major uproar within the military?
Technorati tags: rape crime politics sexual violence sexual assault feminism