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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

ME women veterans request counselors for military sexual trauma

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Thursday, April 11, 2024   

Advocates for women veterans, who've experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military, are asking state lawmakers for much-needed funding.

Previous legislation backed the creation of two sexual trauma liaisons at community-based organizations in the state, but funding never came to fruition.

Executive Director of the Augusta-based Sisters-in-Arms Center, Rebecca Cornell du Houx, said lawmakers have a chance to help veteran survivors rebuild their lives.

"To have a consistent clinician there to provide that trauma treatment to the woman veteran in a place that they're safe," said Cornell du Houx, "I think, can really, really support their recovery."

Cornell du Houx said one in three women soldiers experience some form of sexual trauma while in the military but many incidents go unreported.

There are more than 10,000 women veterans currently living in Maine.

Women veterans are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the homeless population, and are four times more likely to become homeless than their male peers.

Researchers also now identify military sexual trauma as the biggest factor driving a more than 60% increase in suicide rates among women veterans since 2001.

Cornell du Houx said while group therapy is available to these veterans, state funding would provide for more formalized treatment - especially for those coming off active-duty.

"I think if people knew the stories of what had happened to these women while they were in the service, just really disheartening stories of assault," said Cornell du Houx, "I think that they wouldn't hesitate to fund a position so that they could get help."

Cornell du Houx said sexual trauma is most prevalent among lower-ranking seventeen and eighteen-year-olds, who are influenced to think that reporting an incident is a betrayal of a fellow soldier.

She said it's important to support those who have come forward, to advocate for themselves and others, and who took an oath to serve their country.





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