Prevalence of In-Service and Post-Service Sexual Assault among Combat and Noncombat Veterans

Citation:

Murdoch, Maureen, Melissa A. Polusny, James Hodges, and Nancy O'Brien. 2004. "Prevalence of In-Service and Post-Service Sexual Assault among Combat and Noncombat Veterans Applying for Department of Veterans Affairs Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Disability Benefits." Military Medicine 169 (5): 392-395.

Authors: Maureen Murdoch, Melissa A. Polusny, James Hodges, Nancy O'Brien

Abstract:

Objective: To describe the prevalence of in-service and post-service sexual assault among combat and noncombat veterans seeking Veteran’s Affairs disability benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 4,918 veterans. 

Results: Surveys were returned by 3,337 veterans (effective response rate, 68%). Among men, 6.5% of combat veterans and 16.5% of noncombat veterans reported in-service or post-service sexual assault. Among women, 69% of combat veterans and 86.6% of noncombat veterans reported in-service or post-service sexual assault. 

Conclusions: Reported rates of sexual assault were considerably higher among veterans seeking Veteran’s Affairs disability benefits for PTSD than historically reported rates for men and women in the general population. In this population, male gender and veterans’ combat status should not dissuade clinicians from screening for sexual traumas.

Keywords: military sexual assault, posttraumatic stress disorder, female veterans, male veterans, mental health

Topics: Combatants, Gender, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2004

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