PsychCentral posts a number of great articles but this one, see link below, about female veterans abuse caught my eye.
Blog post photo credit from source link above.
The article cites some startling statistics on sexual assault against women in the military. What really got me though is that the young woman portrayed in the article saw horrific things while deployed in Afghanistan, was in a vehicle that was struck by an IED, but the trauma that was most difficult for her was the sexual assault by her commanding officer that she couldn’t talk about. She felt she couldn’t talk about this because of an enduring atmosphere in the military that blames the victim and discourages reporting.
This is sad of course, and I know officially the military is trying to change this. A social problem as big as this often feels hopeless and it leaves you wishing you could do something while you also believe that nothing you do will make a difference.
I’m really going to ask the question though anyway. What could you do? I’m interested in your thoughts on this but I’m also going to add a few ideas as well.
If you are a counselor like me, you could sign up to provide pro bono therapy at http://www.giveanhour.org. Check them out, they are a great organization. As a counselor, this may give you an opportunity to make a difference, one person at a time. It may be someone who was the victim of a sexual assault. It may even be a perpetrator, consumed by guilt or shame.
Any of us could make a difference – one person at a time.
One “thank you” to a veteran or person active in the military.
One moment when you can vocalize support in some way for victims of sexual assault in the military to speak out.
One offer of support to someone you know who is or has been in the military, whatever that support may be…a listening ear, an acknowledgment of a job well done, or ??
by Catherine Wilson MA LPC NCC