Military-Related Sexual Trauma among Veterans' Health Administration Patients Returning from Afghanistan and Iraq

Citation:

Kimerling, Rachel, Amy E. Street, Joanne Pavao, Mark W. Smith, Ruth C. Cronkite, Tyson H. Holmes, and Susan M. Frayne. 2010. "Military-Related Sexual Trauma Among Veterans’ Health Administration Patients Returning from Afghanistan and Iraq." American Journal of Public Health 100 (8): 1409-1412.

Authors: Rachel Kimerling, Amy E. Street, Joanne Pavao, Mark W. Smith, Ruth C. Cronkite, Tyson H. Holmes, Susan M. Frayne

Abstract:

We examined military-related sexual trauma among deployed Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Of 125729 veterans who received Veterans Health Administration primary care or mental health services, 15.1% of the women and 0.7% of the men reported military sexual trauma when screened. Military sexual trauma was associated with increased odds of a mental disorder diagnosis, including posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders. Sexual trauma is an important postdeployment mental health issue in this population.
 

Keywords: sexual violence, military, veterans, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom

Annotation:

Quotes:
 
"For our study, we completed, to our knowledge, the first national, population-based assessment of the mental health profile associated with a history of military sexual trauma among deployed Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans who used Veterans Health Administration services." (1410) 
 
"Women and men who reported a history of military sexual trauma were significantly more likely than those who did not to receive a mental health diagnosis, including  posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders." (1411)
 
"Effect sizes for the relation of military sexual trauma to PTSD were substantially stronger among women compared with men, suggesting that military sexual trauma may be a particularly relevant gender-specific clinical issue in PTSD treatment settings." (1411)
 
"However, survivors of sexual trauma often delay disclosure and treatment of their experiences, and Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans report stigma associated with help-seeking." (1411)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Women, Men, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: MENA, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America

Year: 2010

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