(PRWEB) September 20, 2012
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF), created by six women veterans to provide help to men and women who return home from serving our country with physical and emotional wounds, is calling for action to address the challenges unique to our nation’s increasing population of women veterans.
A recent draft report from the Women Veterans Task Force (WVTF) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stated that the number of women veterans is on the rise, and that many of them are not aware of, and are not obtaining the services due them for serving the country.
Even more concerning, female veterans have higher service-connected disabilities than male veterans, and higher incidences of certain types of disabilities.
“The report is important and significant for clearly outlining the needs and specific challenges facing our women veterans,” said Raegen Rivers, Chief Administrative Officer of the DVNF. “Our organization is particularly concerned that disabled women veterans are not aware of and obtaining the services and benefits that are available to them. We stand as a resource for them, and we join with other national efforts to increase awareness and improve service delivery to these selfless American women.”
Women now make up the fastest growing group of veterans. Currently, eight percent of veterans, or 1.8 million, are women. It is estimated that by 2020, 10.7 percent of veterans will be female.
The report stated that in 2009, 26 percent of female veterans had disability ratings greater than 50 percent, compared to 19 percent for male veterans. In addition, women have higher incidences of certain types of disabilities, including Military Sexual Trauma (MST), which can lead to additional problems such as depression, substance abuse and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Women also are less likely to be aware of the disability benefits and health care services available to them for illnesses such as MST and PTSD, the report stated. In 2009, 30 percent of female veterans were unaware that they were eligible for VA benefits and services, a figure the report characterized as unacceptably high.
The findings of the report will be the foundation for a renewed effort to improve VA services to female veterans, according to U.S. Politics Today. Rivers said the DVNF would support and join the VA in that effort and hopes other veteran service organizations will do the same.
About Disabled Veterans National Foundation: The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to change the lives of men and women who came home wounded or sick after serving our country. A nonprofit 501c3, DVNF was founded in the fall of 2007 by six women veterans to provide disabled men and women of the military with help obtaining housing, medical care, counseling and meaningful jobs. For more information, visit http://www.dvnf.org.