Lawmakers Probe Link Between PTSD and Sexual Assault in Veterans

Jul 14, 2014


Kentucky lawmakers are probing the link between post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and sexual assault in the military. According to experts, rape is more likely than combat to cause PTSD.

Nationwide, about 350,000 veterans suffer from PTSD. Over 18,000 live in the Veterans Affairs service area that covers most of Kentucky and parts of Tennessee.

Dr. Mary Sweeney testified recently before the interim Joint Committee on the Military, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety, and told lawmakers that there is a more than 50 percent chance that a rape victim will suffer from PTSD - more so than combat.

“In terms of just the likelihood of developing PTSD, it gets no higher than rape,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney says that Louisville’s Robley Rex VA hospital offers a variety of options to treat PTSD in veterans, including those who were sexually assaulted.