Veterans Suffering in the Shadows
Veterans Of All Era's Can Be Silently Suffering
After serving in the Military and Suffering from PTSD, as well as a few other disorders which was the result of an incident which occurred while I was stationed state-side. During the last few months, I have decided to seek out assistance for my "Ghosts" in the proverbial Closet, to allow me to move on with my life.
I have come to find some pretty disturbing things out, which relates to the reasons, I went to the Veterans Administration. Many of those things, I found, were in relation to the treatment of Men and Women, whom are sitting on the side-lines, dealing with severe issues associated with PTSD and some who are/were victims of Military Sexual Trauma, for extended periods of time.
Although the military has not seemed to find a means to help several types of PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in various forms. Especially with those veterans whom are also assault victims, more specifically victims of sexual assault, whom are suffering in silence
. It appears that male victims have been overlooked and disregarded, to a large extent as possible victims of sexual assualt, due to lack of reporting events and because men are not supposed to be victimized in this manner; at least in societies view. This is not to discount the effects of traumatic events that Women in our Military suffer with and deal with in silence.
In more case than not, when a male approaches the Veteran's Administration for help, they have been put in the same therapy structure, as those other veterans whom have suffered war related PTSD symptoms. Many reports from those male veterans, whom have found the courage to come forward and admit that they had been sexually assaulted, have stated that they were mocked and looked down upon, by wartime sufferers of PTSD. In more and more cases, the male sexual assault victim is continuously re-traumatized during and after the therapy sessions, especially in therapy sessions dealing primarily in a group setting.
In many instances, the Veteran's Administration have been marked with repeatedly traumatizing sexual assault victims, during what is considered to be routine PTSD treatment. As most are reporting that re-traumatization is occurring when the V.A. puts them in the same group sessions, as their counter-parted war related PTSD sufferers. As it would seemingly be obvious, both are unrelated in causation of the veterans being traumatized, in the first place.
One reason for this, is because the surfacing of Male Sexual Assault Victims has never been considered in the treatment of such an attack against anyone who are not female. Again, this is not to discount the suffering that Women go through with these issues and events.
Now, the Veteran's Administration has treatment options for the Veterans who are women. However in actually, giving credence to the possibility that there were men whom had also suffered such violent attacks to their person, by same sex offenders, had never been addressed by the U.S. Federal Government, until recently.
Recently, The Federal Government Has Acknowledged Male Victims Of Sexual Assault
Giving the Federal Government credit, for at least recognizing that Men in the military are among victims of sexual assault. As such, I have to give credit to the move of funding a move towards addressing the issue of Military Sexual Trauma, and serving up to those whom are coming forward, and then reporting the incidents of such acts.
Unfortunately however, The Efforts at this time, appears to be covering up the issues and trying to sweep the reports under the table, while keeping an appearance of approaching the issue with sympathy and empathy. The Federal Government is finding that the victimization has gone on for years and the range of victimization goes back to cover long past military era's, as well as the current Middle East War Era.
The U.S. Federal Government, although releasing funds for assistance to male veterans, through the Veteran's Administration, the VA has began it's efforts by heavily medicating most victims of sexual assault, in what appears to me, as an effort to dart creditability, and to get the victim to become more or less drug dependent and less creditable; thereby allowing the VA and The Federal Government the ability to say that actual reports were not creditable. This is also to say, by doing this, the reporting numbers are climbing; so in the vein of taking care of the matter and the victim being deemed unreliable in testimony, due to drugs, the government can state that the number of creditable instances of Military Sexual Trauma, is less prevalent then anticipated.
Several Advocacy Groups relate that male sexual assault victimization rates go far beyond what is or has been reported in rapes and sexual assaults against women in the military. I suppose it is due to the recent climb in numbers of latent reporting, by men who have suffered in silence and staying in the shadows of the discussion.
Generally, Women have been at the top of assault victim scales. However, in the military it is becoming a sobering statical nightmare, for all parties whom are trying to treat these men, whom are finally coming out of the shadows and reporting they had been assaulted sexually.
In light of the never seen before occurrence of Males, whom have been suffering in silence, coming to the surface and now starting to be reported, the Veterans Administration is left ineffective, in truly treating them, as all of their programs were designed for Women and the recorded effects of rape and sexual assault upon them.
However, there are some very deep differences in the way the Males and Females, relate to such events against men; as well as some very similar effects as well to the female populace whom have suffered assault.
the Veterans Administration has several resident style treatment facilities, in remote locations, whom cater to both male and female sexual assault victims and PTSD as it relates to these victims; keeping War incurred PTSD in different programs, within the residential treatment programs, in as far as the counseling and treatment, while allowing the veterans to co-mingle outside of the therapy settings.
Being Swept Under The Rug
More and more, It is becoming apparent that some Therapists, are merely back-logging cases, and pushing Men, who are reporting sexual attacks away from the Veterans Administration. In one such case, the therapist will schedule an appointment to see the male victim, for counseling early in the afternoon. Then when the Veteran comes in for his appointment, the Therapist will tell him that his appointment was for another time and telling him that his session was to be rescheduled. In one instance, he was rescheduled to a date 2 (two) months later down the road. This Veteran stated that he has never seen the Therapist even once, since being assigned to her as she continuously changes the appointments on him.
It is apparent that this practice is on going, throughout the V.A.'s remote clinical setting. It is believed that the expectations of the VA are insufficient to properly address the matter, as dictated by the Federal Government. However, since the Veteran is at a disadvantage he is placed in a situation whereby he is having to dredge up painful memories and gain enough strength to divulge information; hidden for sometimes years, to enable him to discuss even the fringes of the events of his attack. Only to be turned away, and made to feel like he is a burden on the system, thereby re-traumatizing the Veteran Victim repeatedly.
In reality, The Veterans Administration is expecting that a male sexual assault victim to be fully in recovery, within a 26 week time period. However, in reality, it is not feasible in times where the individual Veteran has suffered in silence for extended periods of time, in silence and dealing with the shame and humiliation of his attacks, not to mention the emotional and physical scaring of the events, which serve as a reminder, of the events; which all too often lasts and resurfaces, in some cases every day.
Although I am not a Therapist, nor a Doctor. I am someone who has access to a person who has suffered intensely in silence for over three generations, and who has been seeking help through the Veterans Administration. It has been acceptable to that person, that I write this on his behalf.
This is the first of many projects, I Intend on pursuing upon in the efforts to bring attention to the plight of the Male Sexual Assault Victims, whom served our United States, such as I have and whom also like myself suffer from PTSD. Please look for more Hubpages, regarding this matter, as well as a new blog which is soon to be coming to accompany these hubpage postings.
Thank You for Visiting and Reading.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Gary