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It's a sobering statistic -- Nevada's women veterans commit suicide at a rate six times higher than the average for all Americans. That's according to a 2012 report by the Nevada State Health Division. Between 2008 and 2010 alone, 14 female veterans committed suicide in Nevada, the division reported.
Women who have been military service members face special challenges when they return to civilian life, no matter which state they live in. In addition to the physical injuries and emotional harm from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder -- which all soldiers risk while serving -- about one in three women suffers sexual trauma during her military service, according to 2009 data from the U.S. Dept. of Defense.
Nationwide, women veterans do not commit suicide at a higher rate than male veterans, but the women do suffer higher rates of homeless after leaving the service than the men, and have greater difficulty establishing disability claims for PTSD with the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
In Nevada veterans services are limited, though improvements are underway.
Michelle Wilmot, Army veteran, artist, writer (in photo)
Yvonne Betron, Marine veteran and coordinator of women veterans' programs for Nevada Dept. of Veteran Services
Ray Scurfield, psychotherapist, author, fellow of Combat Stress Board of American Institute of Stress, founding director of VA National Center for PTSD
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