Veterans already have some of the highest risks of suicide. However, women who serve in the armed services seem to be at a much higher risk of suicide. According to new statistics, the rate of suicide for female veterans is as much as six times as high as for civilian women.
In fact, the rates of suicide for female veterans are very close to the rate for male vets. This is surprising because males in the civilian population are much more likely to commit suicide than women. In the general civilian population, the suicide rate for women is approximately 5.2 per 100,000 population. For civilian males, the rate is 20.9 suicides per 100,000 population. However, when you consider the statistics for veterans, the rate is disturbing. For female veterans, the rate of suicide is 28.7 suicides per 100,000 population, while for male veterans, the rate is 32.1 suicides.
Even more staggeringly, the rate of suicide is highest among young veterans. Among female veterans between ages 18 and 29, the rate of suicide was three times as much as the rate for non-veterans. The rates of suicide are much higher for female veterans in every age group. According to the researchers, this seems to indicate that the reason for these high suicide levels is not just stress and other related factors, but other causes that have more to do to the women’s backgrounds and their experiences in the armed forces.
There is no doubt that the statistics are incredibly disturbing, and we need to understand why suicide seems to be such an endemic problem among female veterans. It is important to understand more about the experiences of women in the armed forces that contribute to this problem.