Based on interviews with six women, this study describes each participant*s personal experience of childhood sexual victimization, and revictimization while serving in the military. These traumatic experiences in childhood may have increased their risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when exposed to sexual trauma in adulthood. Using a grounded theory approach, the interviewer identified common themes among the stories: early sexual abuse, and subsequent revictimization, poor family support, and poor choice of intimate partners as adults. Moreover, they experienced lessened ability to protect self and low self-esteem and denial. The subjects described a personal culture that included abuse as a normal experience, substance abuse, a need for medical and psychological health care, and poor academic outcomes before military service, and following discharge.
The participants* sexual revictimization was associated with greater psychological distress, and higher levels of psychological symptomology. These women described the military*s response to their in-service sexual trauma as severely deficient. The military failed to provide basic medical care or proper counseling for these victims and in no case was the attacker prosecuted.
|Commitee:||Hunt, Stephen C., Linn, Patricia, Tien, Liang|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Psychology, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Female, Health issues, Military experience, PTSD, Post traumatic stress disorder, Revictimization|
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