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Military Personnel: DOD Has Taken Steps to Meet the Health Needs of Deployed Servicewomen, but Actions Are Needed to Enhance Care for Sexual Assault Victims

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Congressional rept.

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The roles for women in the military have been expanding and evolving. Servicewomen today are integral to combat, combat support, and counterinsurgency operations, and serve in many roles they previously did not hold. Pub. L. No. 112-81, 725 2011 mandated that GAO conduct a review of the female-specific health care services provided by DOD to female servicemembers, including the treatment of servicewomen who are victims of sexual assault. In this report, GAO evaluates the extent to which 1 DOD is addressing the health care needs of deployed servicewomen 2 female-specific health care services are available to deployed servicewomen and 3 medical and mental health care are available to servicewomen who are victims of sexual assault. GAO reviewed pertinent DOD policies, guidance, and data. GAO also met with health care providers, servicewomen, and others during site visits to 18 locations where servicewomen are currently serving or deployed, including 15 installations in Afghanistan and Navy vessels. To enhance the medical and mental health care for servicewomen who are victims of sexual assault, GAO recommends that DOD 1 develop department-level guidance on the provision of care to victims of sexual assault and 2 take steps to improve first responders compliance with the department s requirements for annual refresher training. DOD did not concur with the first recommendation, but cited steps it is taking that appear consistent with the recommendation. DOD concurred with the second recommendation.

Subject Categories:

  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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