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January 28, 2012

Homeless female veterans in America

FEMINISM/POLITICS - Many female veterans who fought overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq are now homeless and unable to find work. How did this happen?

When returning from Afghanistan and Iraq many female veterans have physical and psychological issues that make it difficult for them to live in civilian society. They're shell shocked from the constant terror they endured overseas. The physical and psychological torment (and a shortage of government support for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) often leads to homelessness.

The United States General Accounting Office released a report on January 23rd that shows that the number of homeless female veterans “more than doubled” from 2006 to 2010. These numbers do not include veterans living in homeless shelters so the change could be even worse than we know.

These female veterans who served overseas are clearly not being helped when they return from combat. Many female veterans are not aware of the services available to them, including homeless shelters. For veterans who are also single mothers many shelters do not accept children.

So is this what modern America has come to? A country where veterans live on the streets, homeless, jobless and with children?

Life on the streets is a vicious cycle of psychological and physical abuse, worsening the victim’s psychological state and resulting in a high suicide rate and drug addiction.

This is not an acceptable situation for America’s female veterans.

Female veterans are twice as likely as civilian women to be unemployed, and almost three times as likely to commit suicide. 1 in 5 have suffered sexual assault.

Two government agencies, the Veteran’s Administration and Housing and Urban Development, which are supposed to coordinate housing and services for veterans, need to step up their game and support female veterans.

Shame on America!

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