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September 2014
Webinar      

The Battered Women's Justice Project houses archived webinars on military-related trauma informed care. Click here to find more information to access the recordings.
Resources for Those Serving Military Women
SAMHSA supports America's service men and women together with their families and communities by leading efforts to ensure that needed behavioral health services are accessible and that outcomes are positive.
 
 

The Center for Women Veterans monitors and coordinates the VA's administration of health care benefits, services, and programs for women veterans; raises awareness of the responsibility to treat them with dignity and respect; and advocates for a cultural transformation to recognize the service and contributions of women in the military.

 


Service Women's Action Network is a civil rights organization that works to transform military culture by securing the freedom and opportunity to serve without threats of discrimination, assault or harassment, and to reform veterans' services to secure high quality health care and equal benefits for women veterans and their families.

 
 
The National Military Family Association is the leading non-profit organization focusing on issues important to military families, including health care, child care, and employment. 

 


The Military Rape Crisis Center is a survivor-run organization that strives to unite agencies to eliminate sexual violence in the US Armed Forces. MRCC provides services for all service members that have been sexually harassed, assaulted and/or raped. 


 

The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center's Sexual Health and Responsibility Program (SHARP) promotes and protects the sexual health of the Department of the Navy population to support mission readiness, minimize avoidable health care costs, prevent morbidity and mortality, and support quality of life.
In the News    
Articles focusing on women in the military and women veterans have been appearing in the news over a variety of topics lately.  Here are just a sample of some of the discussion-worthy pieces:
 
 
 
Also visit Huffington Post's "Women in the Military" page for news and blogs related to women in the military.
Read Our Blog!
We are honored to feature a personal story in our latest blog post of a retired female US Army Sergeant. Click here to read more.
Mental Health and Military Women 
 
Since 1973, the share of women in the U.S. military has 

grown dramatically. Today, almost 15 percent of all active-duty servicemembers are women; among post-9/11 veterans, nearly one in five is a woman. It is important for health professionals to consider military service when providing health care to these women, as their needs differ from those of the civilian population. Their service may also put them at greater risk for certain medical and mental health conditions.

 

Women's Health Education

An overarching theme of women's health in the military is a lack of consistent and timely education about women's health issues and how they are affected by deployment. Urinary Tract Infections, vaginitis and menstrual symptoms are the most common gynecologic health problems for women serving in current conflicts. Risk factors for these in the deployed environment include impaired feminine hygiene and voiding, which is fostered by poor sanitation conditions, lack of privacy and latrines, as well as the inconvenience of undressing in full battle gear.

 

Barriers to Seeking Care

Women's health issues are compounded by their hesitation to seek medical care when they have a female health concern. One main reason involves having to be seen by a male provider, who may be in her chain of command or someone she works with on a daily basis. Major concerns for many service women tend to be a lack of confidence in their health care providers, as well as the cleanliness and privacy of healthcare facilities.

 

Psychosocial Effects of Deployment

Female service members consistently voice that they feel their deployment experiences differ from those of their male peers. Their perceptions of stressors, as well as how to prevent and cope with them, is influenced by being a mother, spouse, and soldier. With such divergent and conflicting roles, the concerns of many servicewomen relate to preparing themselves and their families for deployment, being a mother while being a deployed warrior, reintegrating with their families, and taking care of their own mental health needs. 

 

Sexual Harassment/Assault

Sexual assault is not a gender specific issue in the military, though the majority of victims who report sexual assault tend to be lower-ranked female soldiers, 24 years of age or younger. The prevalence of sexual assault in the military has been estimated at 6% to 33%, however the true prevalence is greatly hampered by under-reporting, various definitions of sexual assault, and a lack of consistent reporting systems. 

 

Barriers to Reporting Sexual Harassment/Assault 

Women's concerns with reporting sexual harassment and assault include a lack of trust in the fidelity of the reporting system and the confidentiality processes in place. Women fear becoming "the talk of the unit," believe the report would be transformed to reflect negatively on them, and feel that reporting would cause them additional suffering without the likelihood of the perpetrator being punished.

 

Learn More from National Public Radio (NPR)
Resources for Military Women 

Grace After Fire is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is committed to assisting women veterans with their transition back into family life, achievements in the work place, and pursuits of happiness. They do this by giving women veterans time and space to listen, connect and heal with one another.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. It provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their families with qualified Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. The caring professionals at the Veterans Crisis Line are specially trained and experienced in helping veterans of all ages and circumstances. 


Women make up the fastest growing segment of U.S. military veterans. In this documentary, four female veterans share their stories about the difficulties they faced while in the military and upon returning home.

Four Women, Four Stories - Military Veteran Documentary
Four Women, Four Stories - Military Veteran Documentary
Updates from the Coalition 
Every Woman Southeast is Thinking Strategically! 
The Every Woman Southeast Coalition finished out the month of August with a multi-state, multi-partner strategic planning retreat in Durham, NC. There were leadership team participants from each state, representing many different organizations and state agencies, as well as representatives from regional and national groups including Raising Women's Voices, the Mississippi Women's Fund, the YWCA USA, the March of Dimes, NC CASA and the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

The collaboration across states along with each attendee bringing their multiple perspectives to the table rejuvenated our coalitions next strategic directions. These directions include: building capacity in the southeast, centering women's voices in the southeast, mobilizing and sustaining the coalition, and creating southeastern incubator programs. We are excited about all the new initiatives and projects that will be accomplished over the next year. Stay tuned for much more to follow. With YOUR support we are growing and deepening our impact across the southeastern states! Join Us!

Tell Us What YOU Think!  

 

What are innovative ways that healthcare providers can better support military women and their needs? We'd love to share any resources - books, websites, apps, etc - that you find useful!  

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Every Woman Southeast Coalition | http://www.everywomansoutheast.org 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

 


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