Tell the VA: Take Care of Women Veterans Too!
33,321 signatures toward our 35,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Veterans Site
VA facilities and resources are unacceptably understaffed to address women's health needs!
In 1901, the first women began serving in the military under the Army Nurse Corps. Since then, thousands of women have served their nation in a variety of roles in the armed forces1.
Today, 15% of the United States' veterans are women. As service members, they should be entitled to the same benefits as their male counterparts, but in practice, this is far from true because VA hospitals are critically understaffed and unprepared to address medical issues specific to women2.
According to a report by Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a third of VA medical centers lack a gynecologist on staff3. Even the symptoms of everything from PTSD to heart attacks are different in women than in men4.
Moreover, 31% of VA clinics lack staff to provide adequate treatment for sexual assault5.
While it has become easier for survivors of sexual trauma to get treatment since the government ended the requirement that military members produce proof of an assault. thousands of female veterans are yet unable to get disability compensation benefits for sexual trauma because they do not have enough paperwork to support their claims5.
Our female veterans deserve the same level of care and professionalism that goes into treating male veterans.
Sign the petition and ask the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department to make sure women veterans get the care they need and deserve!
- U.S. Army, "American Revolutionary War."
- United States Department of Veterans Affairs (April 2015), "Study of Barriers for Women Veterans to VA Health Care."
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV), "Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home."
- Melanie Arenson, BS and Beth Cohen, MD, MAS, PTSD Research Quarterly (2017), "Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Cardiovascular Disease."
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV), (12 May 2021), "Statement of Carmen McGinnis DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Committee On Veterans' Affairs United States Senate."
To the Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department,
I am writing to express my concern for the women who have served in the United States military who are now suffering as a result of understaffing and a severe lack of equipment at Veterans Affairs facilities.
Women have different health needs from men, but that doesn't mean that because they are a minority in the armed forces that they shouldn't be able to access specialized care. According to a report by Disabled American Veterans, or DAV, a third of VA medical centers lack a gynecologist on staff. Thirty-one percent of VA clinics lack staff to provide adequate treatment for sexual assault, according to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine.
Since 1901, women have served in the military. This is not a new issue that has only recently developed. For generations, women who have served in the armed forces have relied on the VA to get the care they need, but have been ignored, their health concerns trivialized simply because they are a minority in the service.
This cannot be allowed to stand. Secretary McDonald, I urge you to do more to address the gender disparity present in the VA system. Women have fought just as hard and sacrificed just as much. They deserve proper medical care for all aspects of their physical and mental wellbeing, just as men do!
Thank you for your time,