COMMENTARY

Sexual Abuse and Military Women

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP

Disclosures

August 20, 2013

Combat Deployment Is Associated With Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault in a Large, Female Military Cohort

Leardmann CA, Pietrucha A, Magruder KM, et al
Womens Health Issues. 2013;23:e215-e223

Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Military

The issue of sexual assault and harassment of women in the military has captured much attention -- from the military establishment, the government, and the lay press -- in the past several years. Researchers are also paying increasing attention to the issue. Previous research examined the prevalence of these behaviors, risk factors, and the effect of sexual stressors on the victims. Much of this research, however, has occurred in subsets of the population of military women and has been limited by methodologic flaws.

The current article reports the results from the Millennium Cohort Study, a large, population-based, longitudinal study of health outcomes associated with military service, launched in 2001. Every 3 years, participants in the study complete an in-depth questionnaire examining occupational and life experiences. Leardmann and colleagues report data from women who completed the baseline questionnaire and the initial follow-up survey in 2004-2006. The goal was to investigate individual and environmental factors, including deployment, in relation to sexual harassment and assault.

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