veterans issues

Violated and forgotten: Female veterans and sexual assault in the military

It's worse than you think:

Thousands of female veterans are struggling to get health-care treatment and compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs on the grounds that they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by sexual trauma in the military. The veterans and their advocates call it “the second battle” — with a bureaucracy they say is stuck in the past.

A recent VA survey found that 1 in 4 women said they experienced sexual harassment or assault. And the problem is growing more pressing because female veterans represent the military’s fastest-growing population, with an estimated 2.2 million, or 10 percent, of the country’s veterans. More than 280,000 female veterans have returned home from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That 1 in 4 statistic is comparable with national (US) sexual assault numbers, in case somebody's prone to disbelieve it for whatever reason. What's the significance of comparing the two? The military has a rigid and all-encompassing management structure; every single person in uniform has a direct supervisor, who knows where that subordinate is and what he/she is doing (for the most part) at all times. And that supervisor has a supervisor, etc. In other words, there is a support structure unrivaled in the civilian world, with regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice dictating and strengthening that structure. As such, sexual assault in the military should be a fraction of what occurs outside that structure, instead of mirroring it. And it's going to take a major shift in management focus to eradicate these kinds of trends:

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