OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

Rape, Sex Partnership, and Substance Use Consequences in Women Veterans

Article

This article examines women’s experiences of sexual assault or rape, and the association with alcohol and substance mis-use.

Abstract

The association of rape history and sexual partnership with alcohol and drug use consequences in women veterans is unknown. Midwestern women veterans (N = 1,004) completed a retrospective telephone interview assessing demographics, rape history, substance abuse and dependence, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One third met lifetime criteria for substance use disorder (SUD), half reported lifetime completed rape, a third childhood rape, one quarter in-military rape, 11% sex with women. Lifetime SUD was higher for women with rape history (64% vs. 44%). Women with women as sex partners had significantly higher rates of all measures of rape, and also lifetime substance use disorder. Post-military rape, sex partnership, and current depression were significantly associated with lifetime SUD in multivariate models (odds ratio = 2.3, 3.6, 2.1, respectively). Many women veterans have a high need for comprehensive mental health services.

Full Reference

Booth, B.M., Mengeling, M., Torner, J. and Sadler, A.G., 2011. Rape, sex partnership, and substance use consequences in women veterans. Journal of traumatic stress, 24(3), pp.287-294.