Black Female VeteransWhat happens to women military soldiers once they return home from war is not widely discussed within the African-American community. However, recent studies by the Defense Department reveal that black female veterans are disproportionately being left to fend for themselves. According to follow-up studies, black women who are sexually traumatized in the military are one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population.

Sexual assault is one of  the military’s most vicious secrets for women, a recent New York Times profile shows. One in three military women has been sexually assaulted, the Defense Department revealed – a rate twice as high as that for civilians. A report conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed that 45 percent of homeless veterans were black women, while 41 percent were white, 7.6 percent were Latina and 1.3 percent were Asian. Most homeless female veterans served during the Persian Gulf and Iraq War periods.

The cause of the growing trend? Post-traumatic stress disorder from sexual assaults that often go unreported due to fear of reprisal. The profile says:

“While male returnees become homeless largely because of substance abuse and mental illness, experts say that female veterans face those problems and more, including the search for family housing and an even-harder time finding well-paying jobs. But a common pathway to homelessness for women, researchers and psychologists said, is military sexual trauma, or M.S.T., from assaults or harassment during their service, which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.”

  • Lisa

    Thanks Clutch for sharing this. I do not hear a lot of information concerning military women.

  • The Comment

    *This really made me cry*

    America is a cold pimp. How do you use YOUNG peoples mind,body & soul and then treat them like a dirty dog when you are finished with them?

    Billions of dollars used to recruit with promises of free education (which they are now trying to cut) housing asst and the like—as it should be—but seems like our vets just get the short end of the stick.

    I mean really. Our education system is soooo f*cked up that I have to get a leg blown off just to get some education funds?

    That’s why I don’t read the news everyday. That’s why I don’t fault drug users. I really don’t. bottom line…life is jacked! When I do see a homeless sistah on the street…I give her $20. F*ck it.

    I wish I could buy a large island just for black women to come heal themselves of the world’s hatred against us. Who wants to live in this would with all this hate.

  • Keshia

    I never understood why black people would fight for a country that doesn’t fight for us. This is really sad info

  • seritatheresa

    I have a friend who started a non-profit to address this. Clutch should interview her. The non-profit is “Final Salute”. Her name is Jaspen Williams.

  • The Comment

    from Final Salute Inc.

    “Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done.”

    Wow……..Red Cross/Hurricane Katrina anyone….

    So true. Thx for the info. Great page.

  • Pingback: Black Military Women Among Growing Homeless Veteran Population - Urban News Hour

  • Barbara

    The infomation in this story about the rapes in the military, and the homeless sisters is of great service. We need to spread the word amongst us so that sisters who may be thinking of joining will know what to, possibly, expect. Then they will be better prepared to defend or protect themselves.

    Something has to be done about the rape culture in the military.

  • Keali

    “A report conducted by the United State Government Accountability Office showed that 45% of homeless veterans were black women, while 41% were white, 7.6% were Latinas, and 1.3% were Asian.”

    This part doesn’t make sense. I assume you meant these are the percentages for homeless female veterans not all. While this article seems startling I think a little more info is needed.

    1. What overall percentage of homeless veterans are female.

    2. What percentage of the women sexually assaulted are black women.

    I think this information is very necessary to understanding the true nature of the issue and how to combat it.

    Not trying to take away from the importance by any stretch I just think it matters.

  • D.T.

    There is a documentary titled “The Invisible War” on Netflix that discusses the high occurrence of rape in the military. It’s worth watching.

  • Jay Cee

    Anyone convicted of rape in the military should simply be taken out and shot.

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