Women Veterans: The Effects of Combat Deployment
Introduction to Human Services
Mrs. Jennifer Griffin
November 17, 2014
The relocation and adjustment processes occurring within persons facing involuntary deployment are most certainly filled with anxiety and uncertainly. This discussion will focus on women veterans who have served on the front lines and the affects of combat deployment. Examinations defining the trials and tribulations faced by the female military member will place attention on the psychological and psychosocial transactions that occur during military operations and the challenges women face. Expansion of this ...view middle of the document...
Gender further dictates references to femaleness related to membership in society and overcoming this single obstacle can, for some women, become an overreaching challenge. Mainstream acceptance into a predominately male field discriminately presents issues that quantitatively articulate antiquated beliefs that females in the services are inferior participants.
Widespread, sexist attitudes abound with unfounded sentiments phrasing women as being ill equipped for battle; individuals who should be left behind attending to secretarial duties.
Military Sexual Trauma
January 2013, the military officially lifts the ban on women in combat roles. The Joint Chiefs of Staff overturned the 1994 ban citing that women, who already make up fifteen percent of the force, have increasingly found themselves in the "reality of combat" during Iraq and Afghanistan (Fishel, 2013). The military’s delayed acknowledgement of the roles women occupy in direct combat are likened to the lack of experience and response in addressing sexual trauma in women.
Researchers have consistently reported the prevalence rates of sexual assault of women during military service of twenty-one to twenty-five percent or higher and of sexual harassment of twenty-four to sixty percent (Kelly, Skelton, Patel, & Bradley, 2011). Keep in mind that these numbers are only representative of females who have reported such occurrences. The reality is that these statistics are indicative of volunteer testimony and do not represent the exact number of accounts, which may be quite higher.
The Department of Defense in 2010, reported a shocking number of women, nineteen thousand in total who were victims of sexual assault and rape (Hannum, 2012). These crimes desecrate a woman’s sense of camaraderie in the field and complicate their care when they return home because of the additional trauma and betrayal experienced beyond physical, spiritual, or other emotional injuries (Hannum, 2012)
In a national random sample of women seeking health care in a Veterans Administration Medical Center, one in every four women report experiencing sexual trauma while on active duty (Kelly et al., 2011). This makes the point clear that women are acutely at risk for exposure to some form of sexual assault.
Valid concerns remain and largely in part to the military’s retarded progress in defining military sexual trauma. Women who are not adequately diagnosed or treated for sexual trauma may develop mental health issues associated closely to the affects of their experiences. In one study of sexually traumatized female veterans, post traumatic stress disorder was a strong correlate and significant predictor of chronic pain, consistent with other reports of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (Kelly et al., 2011). In another study it was found, in a small sample of active duty women, that military sexual harassment was more strongly associated with post traumatic stress disorder than combat exposure (Lehavot...