Female Veterans: Unique Challenges and Resources
In the annals of military history, the role of women has often been overshadowed by their male counterparts. Yet, in recent years, the number of women serving in the military has increased significantly, leading to a growing population of female veterans. These brave women — who have served their country with honor and courage — face a unique set of challenges upon their return to civilian life.
The experiences and challenges of female veterans are complex and often overlooked. This article discusses the problems female veterans face, providing a look at their unique struggles, including statistics and resources for help.
Female Veteran Statistics
As per the latest figures, the number of female veterans in the United States has been steadily rising. However, the support and recognition for their service often lag behind. Contrary to popular perception, these women constitute a significant portion of the military. Here are some crucial female veterans facts:
- Women make up about 10% of the veteran population in the United States.
- There are over two million female veterans in the United States today.
- Female veterans are younger on average compared to their male counterparts.
Unique Challenges Faced By Female Veterans
Female veterans face an array of challenges that can make their transition back to civilian life incredibly difficult. Notably, homeless female veterans represent a growing concern. The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that the rate of homelessness among female veterans tripled between 2010 and 2015, with it expected to rise 9% more by 2025. Further, female veterans are more than twice as likely to experience homelessness than women who did not serve in the military.
The reasons for this alarming trend are multifaceted, including factors such as economic instability, lack of affordable housing, and mental health issues. To understand more about the dangers of homelessness for veterans, click here.
Another prominent challenge is mental health, with a staggering number of female veterans with PTSD. Military sexual trauma (MST) is a significant contributor to this issue, with 1 in 3 female service members reporting such experiences during their military service. To read more about veterans and sexual trauma, visit this page.
The Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act was enacted to address the disturbing female veteran statistics surrounding mental health issues and suicide rates. Despite these efforts, more needs to be done, as the suicide rate among female veterans remains significantly higher than that of their civilian counterparts.
Resources for Female Veterans
There are a growing number of resources specifically designed to assist female veterans with their unique challenges. Veterans can seek help from the VA and nonprofit organizations like NVHS, which provides comprehensive support for issues such as homelessness and mental health concerns. We offer programs designed to help veterans and their families overcome challenges and lead fulfilling lives.
Treatment for PTSD is another critical area of focus. Understanding and treating PTSD requires specialized care and resources. Ensuring access to these resources is essential to helping female veterans.
The challenges faced by female veterans are profound and complex. It’s essential that these women receive the resources, support, and recognition they deserve. Addressing these issues requires societal awareness and active governmental policies that focus on the unique problems faced by our female veterans.
As a society, it’s our collective responsibility to ensure that these brave women are recognized, supported, and helped in overcoming the challenges they face. By spreading awareness and providing resources, we can help to alleviate some of the burdens they carry.
As we move forward, let us commit to recognizing and addressing the unique struggles of our female veterans. Their service deserves nothing less.
National Veterans Homeless Support seeks to eliminate homelessness among veterans in Central Florida and nationwide. NVHS takes a proactive, intervention-based approach to homelessness by meeting homeless veterans where they are and helping them from there. Through programs like Search and Rescue Outreach, NVHS helps homeless veterans get the supplies they need to survive, connects them with support and resources, and helps them transition off the streets and into temporary or permanent housing. Some of our programs also include art therapy to help veterans heal. If you’re able, consider supporting our mission by donating or signing on as a volunteer.