Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Female combat vets report more assaults

Oct. 6, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

Women who deploy to violent combat environments are more likely to report sexual harassment and sexual assaults, according to a new Defense Department study.

Women who deploy to violent combat environments are more likely to report sexual harassment and sexual assaults, according to a new Defense Department study.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use navytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Navy Times Prime is free for current Navy Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Navy Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

Women who deploy to violent combat environments are more likely to report sexual harassment and sexual assaults, according to a new Defense Department study.

The study found that 2.1 percent of the military women surveyed reported in an anonymous survey that they experienced some form of sexual assault during the prior three-year period.

Yet that rate was almost twice as high, 4 percent, among women who said they had deployed and experienced combat, the study found.

For purposes of the study, “experiencing combat” was defined witnessing one of five key things: death, physical abuse, dead bodies, maimed service members or prisoners of war.

The study’s authors suggest several possible reasons for the correlation, including:

■Violent combat settings make men more likely to become aggressive toward the military women they live and work with.

■Combat settings are a more traditionally male-dominated environment compared with other settings where military women work.

■Women in a high-stress, life-threatening combat setting may find it more difficult to identify, diffuse or avoid high-risk settings for sexual assault and harassment.

■Men in a combat environment may be less concerned about the consequences of sexually harassing or assaulting women and may be less likely to be held accountable for their actions.

The study was based on DoD surveys of more than 13,000 women and was conducted by a group of researchers from the department and other government agencies. It was published recently in the Women’s Health Issues journal. The data is from an initiative known as the Millennium Cohort Study, a long-term series of anonymous surveys tracking health issues related to military service.

The study found that women who deployed to combat settings were also nearly twice as likely to report sexual harassment. Specifically, 19.9 percent of women with combat-related deployments reported some form of sexual harassment, compared with 9 percent of women who deployed to non-combat settings and 8.2 percent of women who did not deploy during the prior three-year period.

Overall, the numbers suggested a lower incidence of sexual assault when compared with other Defense Department studies. A widely reported study in 2012 showed that about 6.1 percent of military women reported experiencing “unwanted sexual contact” during the previous year.

The new study comes at a time of heightened concern about sexual assault in the military and the Pentagon ratcheting up official prevention efforts.

The study also comes as the military is planning to lift all gender restrictions and allow women to serve with combat units and in combat-arms career fields for the first time.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook