National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
24/7 Mental Health Access Line: 800-854-7771
Military & Veterans Benefits Line: 877-4LA-VETS (8387)
Challenges Faced by Women Veterans
Transitioning and Reentry
- Currently numbering at 2.2 million, women are the fastest-growing group of veterans.
- Women veterans often do not self-identify as veterans.
- The high number of deployments (5-9) has created an unprecedented burden on the family system.
- Many military spouses opt out of the workforce because of conditions unique to the military lifestyle, leaving the spouse at a disadvantage (through employment and education) once the member has left the military.
- 1 in 5 women veterans have reported experiencing Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Women veterans who have suffered from MST are 5 to 8 times more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) compared to those with no history of MST.
- Women are twice as likely than men to develop PTSD.
- Women veterans are more likely to commit suicide than their civilian female counterparts.
- Since 2006, the number of women veterans who are homeless has more than doubled. Often these veterans are single parents, with children who are impacted by lack of available services for women.
- In FY 2010, PTSD, hypertension, and depression were the top three diagnostic categories for women veterans treated at Veteran Affairs hospitals.
- Approximately 83% of women veterans receive their health care from non-VA practices. Reasons for refraining from VA services include a lack of self-identifying as veterans and believe the VA provides male-centered care. Case in point, only 16% of VA Peer Support Program have certified counselors that are women.