Women Veterans

 

VA Women Veterans Hotline: 1-855-VA-WOMEN (829-6636)
Calling all women who served in the United States Military. Do you know your Veteran status? Do you have a Veteran ID card? Do you receive any benefits from the VA, like the GI Bill? Do you receive health care benefits from VA? If you do not know the answers to these questions Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established a call center just for you.

The Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) answers questions and responds to concerns from women Veterans, their families, and caregivers across the nation about VA services and resources. The call is free, and you can call as often as you like until you have the answers to your questions. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Sacramento Valley Veterans (SVV) welcomes our nation’s Women Veterans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are approximately 1,840,380 Women Veterans in the United States. California is one of four states with the highest Veteran population with 1,972,000; of that number, about 166,709 are women. Women have fought in the U.S. military in every major conflict from the American Revolution through the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This page is designed to provide facts and resources for all Women Veterans. As the nation continues to engage in conflicts, we are sure to see this  underserved and vital component of our Veteran and Servicemember population grow. Already within the last decade, the number of Women Veterans has grown due in huge part to women’s roles in combat and combat-supportive roles.

Facts About Women Veterans

The information provided below will lay out some of the issues impacting our nation’s Women Veterans followed by links to resources.

MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA (MST)

Military sexual trauma (MST) is a generalized term for rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment and is the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Women Veterans. MST also affects male Veterans who experience it at a slightly lower rate than female Veterans.

Additionally, MST occurs more frequently in times of combat than in training. It can span all forms of sexual contact and does not necessarily have to involve sexual intercourse.

Some systems of MST include but are not limited to:

    • Depression
    • Negative change in mood and personality
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Anxiety
    • Feelings of guilty
    • Feelings of embarrassment or humiliation
    • Health complications
    • Inability to experience healthy relationships
    • Nightmares
    • Suicidal ideation
    • Drug and alcohol addiction
    • Problems placing trust in others
    • Isolation
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Avoiding places and things similar to memories of the trauma
    • Compulsive working

If you or someone you know has experienced military sexual trauma (MST), there are resources available:

HOMELESSNESS

According to the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), homeless Women Veterans often come into homelessness following a series of life events such as MST and development of PTSD. Additionally, on average, Women Veterans are less likely than men to access and use VA health services which can lead to untreated issues which, in turn, can lead to becoming homeless.

Communities across the country with cooperation between the Department of Veterans Affairs, national/state/local Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and localized resources have come to together to provide help to the homeless Veteran population. Stand downs serve as informational and servicing events designed to address the needs of homeless Veterans. Homeless Women Veterans can find information on resources that may provide the help they need.

UPDATE: Final Salute Inc. provides services to Women Veterans. More info in the links below. Check out the info video:

Here are some resources:

Resources
American Legion: Women Veteranshttp://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/womenveterans 
American Women Veterans
http://americanwomenveterans.org
A Commuity For Peace – http://acommunityforpeace.org/
CalVet Women Veterans Outreach Toolkit – https://www.calvet.ca.gov/WomenVets/PublishingImages/Pages/Women-Veterans-Outreach-Toolkit/Women%20Veterans%20Outreach%20Toolkit.pdf
Final Salute Inc.: For Female Vets, By Female Vets
http://www.finalsaluteinc.org/
Grace After Fire – http://www.graceafterfire.org
MilitaryOneSource – http://www.militaryonesource.mil/ 
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)http://www.rainn.org 
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
http://www.servicewomen.org
VA Center for Women Veterans
http://www.va.gov/womenvet/
VA Mental Health: Women Veteranshttp://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/womenvets.asp
VA Women Veterans Health Carehttp://www.womenshealth.va.gov
Women In Military Service for America (WIMSA)http://www.womensmemorial.org
Women Marines Associationhttp://www.womenmarines.org
Women Who Servedhttp://www.archives.gov/exhibits/a_people_at_war/women_who_served/wafs_wasp.html