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PTSD Hurdle Harder For Women

Women returning from service in Afghanistan and Iraq have been faced with difficulty in obtaining support for PTSD from the VA. Because women technically serve in combat support roles, its harder for them to substantiate claims of PTSD. When claiming PTSD, veterans must point to a trigger or series of triggers. Although men and women may be deployed to the same battle, men can cite the battle and what they observed as a trigger, because they are deemed to have been in combat where a woman is not. Congress has been pushing the VA to respond to the special needs of women in this regard asking that studies be conducted concerning the physical, mental and reproductive health of female veterans returning from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, combat-related stress, for women, is only one type of stressor. In 2008, the VA reported that 1 in 5 women in the military have also suffered sexual trauma and of those, 60% suffer from PTSD. This is a staggering percentage. These female veterans, suffering from PTSD, need the VA’s help. Over time, hopefully, the VA will meet the needs of all of our Veterans.