Prevalence of in-service and post-service sexual assault among combat and noncombat veterans applying for department of veterans affairs posttraumatic stress disorder disability benefits

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Abstract

Objective: To describe the prevalence of in-service and post-service sexual assault among combat and noncombat veterans seeking Veteran's Affairs disability benefits for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Methods: Cross-sectional survey of 4,918 veterans. Results: Surveys were returned by 3,337 veterans (effective response rate, 68%). Among men, 6.5% of combat veterans and 16.5% of noncombat veterans reported in-service or post-service sexual assault. Among women, 69% of combat veterans and 86.6% of noncombat veterans reported in-service or post-service sexual assault. Conclusions: Reported rates of sexual assault were considerably higher among veterans seeking Veteran's Affairs disability benefits for PTSD than historically reported rates for men and women in the general population. In this population, male gender and veterans' combat status should not dissuade clinicians from screening for sexual traumas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-395
Number of pages4
JournalMilitary medicine
Volume169
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

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