Women in Combat
The High Price of War
I watched a disturbing news story the other night. It featured an American woman who had recently returned home from the battle fields in Iraq. You know, women have been involved in war before, but this is the first time we have mothers leaving their babies to go into full combat. What is the cost?
This brave soldier told of horrors she witnessed. Of course it is no worse being a woman and seeing death and destruction than it is for a man, but there are added issues for female troops. A shocking 22% of returning female personnel have reported experiencing sexual trauma at the hand of their male colleagues.
Sexual trauma involves anything from harrassment to full assault or rape. Now, I cannot begin to fathom the psychological impact, but just watching this lady talk about her ordeal was difficult to say the least. The men these women are dependent upon to keep them safe, to have their back... their comrads with whom they are fighting a common enemy - are assaulting them!
Sexual trauma is difficult in any circumstance. Add to these returning female soldiers trauma the lack of appropriate resources when they return home and you have a complex potentially explosive situation. These women come home and fall back into their roles as wife, mother, home maker and they are carrying with them untold scars and emotional baggage.