Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
  You are here : Health.am > Health Centers > Sexual healthSexual Health News

VA finds sexual assaults more common in war zones

Sexual Health NewsDec 27, 2012

About half of women sent to Iraq or Afghanistan report being sexually harassed, and nearly one in four say they were sexually assaulted, according to new research by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The study - based on anonymous surveys of female servicemembers who deployed to war - suggest a far higher prevalence of sexual misconduct against women in war zones than is reflected by complaints gathered by the various service branches.

In February, more than 20,000 women were serving in Afghanistan. In the preceding year, only 115 reports were filed alleging sexual assault, according to the Pentagon.

The findings show that there are traumatic strains beyond combat when troops go to war, said Amy Street, a lead researcher, clinical psychologist and a deputy director at one of VA’s National Centers for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorders) in Boston.

The “lion’s share of the attention ... has focused on combat exposure,” said Street, adding that her study shows how sexual harassment and sexual assault on U.S. troops and their emotional consequences also are a cost of war.

Nate Galbreath, a senior adviser for the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office, said reports of any abuse concern him.

He said he’s withholding an assessment of Street’s findings until he better understands how the research was conducted.

CULTURE HASN’T CHANGED

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who has pushed for better ways to investigate these cases, said women are left with no “safe haven” in war zones.

“It comes down to the culture,” Speier says. “(It) hasn’t changed, no matter what the generals or the secretaries of Defense say about zero tolerance. They have not scrubbed the sexism ... out of the military.”

The results emerge as the Pentagon wrestles with problems of sexual abuse within its ranks and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s orders for steps to guard against it.

Earlier this year, dozens of female recruits at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas reported being sexually assaulted by male instructors.

An Army brigadier general is on trial for alleged sexual misconduct with lower-ranking women while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And the Associated Press reported last week that sexual assaults at military academies increased from 65 in 2011 to 80 in 2012.

In the VA study, researchers mailed survey questions to more than 1,100 women who served in or near Iraq or Afghanistan. Some 48.6% said they had been sexually harassed during their time in a war zone. Sexual assaults during deployment, up to and including rape, were reported by 22.8% of women.

In a workplace survey of women across the military by the Pentagon, 4.4% said they were victims of “unwanted sexual contact.”

COLLEAGUES MAIN OFFENDERS

Almost all of the women in the VA study of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans said the offenders were other servicemembers, in many cases from within their own unit, and 47% said that person held a higher rank, according to the findings.

A second research presentation at the Los Angeles conference by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego cited data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a project that follows the health of thousands of troops over years.

Scientists found that military women who had served between 2001 and 2004, and who had been in direct combat, were 2 1/2 times more likely to say they had been sexually assaulted during those years than female servicemembers who had never been to war.

###
Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: Sept. 19, 2012
Last revised: by Alexander D. Davtyan, M.D

Email this to a friend Bookmark this! Printable Version

RELATED STORIES:


 Comments [ + Post Your Own

Now you're in the public comment zone. What follows is not Armenian Medical Network's stuff; it comes from other people and we don't vouch for it. A reminder: By using this Web site you agree to accept our Terms of Service. Click here to read the Rules of Engagement.

There are no comments for this entry yet. [ + Comment here + ]




We are pleased to let readers post comments about an article. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your full name and email.

All comments are reviewed by our editors before they are posted on the site. Just keep it clean, kids.

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:


   [advanced search]   
Top Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
Viagra | Levitra | Cialis
Interactive Quiz:
1. The most common form of contraception used by couples in the United States is
Pills
Condom
Diaphragm
Intrauterine device (IUD)
Permanent sterilization
Most Searched:
Erectile Dysfunction
Causes of ED
Penile Prosthesis
Male Sexual Dysfunction
Most Viewed:
Premature Ejaculation
Vaginismus
Erectile Disorder
Pedophilia
Transvestism
Premature Ejaculation
Gender Identity Disorder of Adulthood
Paraphilias and Paraphilia-Related Disorders



Health Centers

  Contraception

  Male Infertility

  Erectile Dysfunction

  Male Sexual Dysfunction

  Sexual and Gender
  Identity Disorders


  Sexual Desire Disorders

  Male Erectile Disorder

  Female Sexual Arousal
  Disorder and Female
  Orgasmic Disorder


  Premature Ejaculation and
  Male Orgasmic Disorder


  Sexual Pain Disorders

  Paraphilias and
  Paraphilia-Related Disorders


  Pedophilia

  Transvestism and Gender
  Identity Disorder in Adults


  Gender Identity Disorder in
 Children and Adolescents


» » »


  Sexually Transmitted
  Infections


  Bacterial Infections

   - Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

   - Chlamydia Trachomatis

   - Treponema Pallidum

  Protozoan and
  Fungal Infections


   - Candida Albicans

   - Trichomonas Vaginalis

  Viral Infections

   - Introduction

   - Human Papillomavirus

  Sexually Transmitted
  Disease Syndromes


   - Bacterial Vaginosis

   - Pelvic Inflammatory
   - Disease


   - Epididymitis

   - Proctitis

Health Centers





Diabetes









Health news
  


Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools



   Health newsletter

  





   Medical Links



   RSS/XML News Feed



   Feedback






Sexual health News, Headlines and Latest Stories on Health.am
Add to My AOL

Add to Google Reader or Homepage