Returning Home After Rape

The government just released a massive study on the factors that influence a soldier’s reintegration into normal life after a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. George Zornick focuses on the effects of sexual trauma, reported by 48,100 women and 43,700 men:

The study focuses on what these traumas mean for female veteran’s health: as noted, it concludes that women who have suffered a sexual assault in the military are nine times more likely to develop PTSD than female veterans with no history of sexual abuse. Female victims are also at much greater risk for a wide variety of other problems upon return: anxiety, depression, substance abuse and family troubles.

These results explicitly control for other factors that lead to PTSD. Contrary to many conservative talking points when Obama lifted the restriction on women in combat, the research cited in this study found that women handle combat-related stress just as well as men—military sexual trauma is a singular factor bumping up the prevalence of PTSD among women.

Previous Dish on rape in the military here, here, here and here.