15% of Women Vets Report Sexual Abuse: Study

Assaults often lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, survey of 125K finds
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2008 11:47 AM CDT
15% of Women Vets Report Sexual Abuse: Study
The Pentagon plans to launch a program next year aimed at educating 18- to 24-year-old men about sexual abuse.   (AP Photo)

Some 15% of female Iraq or Afghanistan veterans seeking medical care report suffering sexual trauma, including harassment or assault while on duty, a study finds, with more than half suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The study by the Department of Veterans Affairs surveyed more than 125,000 in 2001-2007, USA Today reports; the Pentagon plans to bolster prevention efforts.

Another recent study found that the programs don’t always work and that more than half of victims don’t report the abuse. “A typical scenario” for a victim “is it’s either a supervisor or someone at her level, in the same military unit,” says a counselor, noting that less than a third of victims she sees have told the military. (Read more US military stories.)

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