As a female veteran myself, I understand the pain and hurt that service members feel regarding the loss of a sister in arms. Sexual harassment in the workspaces has been an understanding of the military culture for many years, and with the turn of the century and increase in social outcry for injustice. Those without a voice may be heard finally.
With the death of PFC Guillen, many women have decided that it is time to stand up for themselves and fight back against the oppressive attitude of the military. With this have been many outreach groups of support for women suffering in silence. On Facebook, the group We are Vanessa Guillen has gained a lot of support from members of each branch whether active, reserve, or veteran. Other support groups have formed on different media platforms as well to help individuals reach out for help when they have no where to go. Within these groups many of the women have gone so far as to provide contact information if an individual needs emergency assistance, and have been offering to drive cross state, cross countries, wherever a member feels unsafe. They have offered their hearts and shoulder in support of each other.
The past is hard to look back on, and too painful for some to imagine. To some this pain is enough to cause mental and physical anguish. Some can’t even remember the scars placed on their hearts. The burden is to great. So the question, is what can each of us do to make sure these scars heal and to protect those that still serve.
The Department of Defense has initiated some programs to help with ensuring an end to serial offenders and increase training methods. The most recent of movements has been the CATCH program. This system is a serial offender program that is used as a confidential method for members to report the offenders while remaining anonymous in a Restricted Report. With this information the DoD is able to determine those that are serial offenders and collects data for criminal investigations and allows the victims the ability to follow along the process to prosecution. The victim may choose to stay anonymous, or bring charges up. For more information on the CATCH program the link to the main site is listed below. https://www.sapr.mil/sites/default/files/public/docs/victim-assistance/20190808_CATCH101_Final.pdf
Now ensuring that predatory and criminal sexual behavior are brought to the forefront is helping in some ways. But this doesn’t help to heal the damage caused from years of abuse and neglect. Our female service members do not need to hide in fear or reprisal, and be fearful of leaving their homes. Here at Mental Mediator, we are here to help. These are emotions and feelings that have no need staying hidden and bottled up for years. As a female veteran ran facility, we are able to understand and offer assistance to those struggling to find their voice, offering services such as EMDR, hypnotism, DBT, CBT and trauma based therapy.
Your voice is important and we are here to help and listen.