Disabled Veterans National Foundation Discusses Need For Aid For Women Veterans

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) has called for increased attention to the needs of returning female veterans. The foundation, which was founded by women veterans to change the lives of soldiers returning home with emotional and physical wounds, is trying to raise awareness of issues faced by women veterans in light of statistics showing their needs for housing, health care, and jobs.

A recent press release has detailed the situation, stating that nearly one in five women who served in Afghanistan or Iraq are without adequately paying jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of women requesting medical services at VA health care facilities has doubled from 2000 to 2011, and female veterans are four times more likely to be homeless compared to both their female civilian and male veteran counterparts.

Women veterans have issues that are not faced by male veterans, said Precilla Wilkewitz, President of DVNF. These issues include trauma from sexual assault during their military service, lower paying jobs, unique health and mental health issues, and homelessness, which often includes dependent children.

“For example, the Department of Defense estimates that one in four women who serve in the military are raped or assaulted,” said Wilkewitz. “Also, there is a shortage of safe living environments for homeless female veterans, which only perpetuates the cycle of being homeless and unemployed. There are even fewer facilities available for homeless women who have children.

“Our organization and many others have been committed to helping women veterans, but our country needs to make their issues a higher priority. While female veterans are due the same benefits as male veterans, they have unique problems and needs, particularly in the areas of health care and housing. Additionally, many women veterans are single mothers, and we need to be concerned about them because their children are our country’s future.”