BOSTON – This week, Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn filed a hearing order to discuss services for women veterans. This follows his recent attendance at the Disabled American Veterans Legislative Conference at the beginning of March and a recent resolution he filed in support of S. 3526, Lactation Spaces for Veterans Moms Act, sponsored by Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada.

Since the U.S. military established an all-volunteer force in 1973, the number of women serving in the military has risen significantly. Today, women comprise nearly 20% of serving military personnel and 10% of the veteran population. However, many women veterans do not receive proper recognition for their services and face a host of issues when they re-enter civilian life. While VA hospitals are making improvements to serve the growing women veteran population, they continue to lag behind in gender-specific and maternity care for our women veterans, especially for those who live in rural areas.

Women veterans are also more likely to struggle with child care and homelessness. According to the VA, they are twice as likely to experience homelessness than those who did not serve in the military. In addition, it is found that 25% of women veterans experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST) during military service, which puts them at risk for depression, substance abuse and PTSD.

“With a growing women veteran population, I’m calling this hearing to discuss the services our women veterans receive and to identify where the gaps in services are,” said Councilor Flynn. “We must recognize the challenges they face when they return home and ensure they receive the necessary healthcare and support, especially for those who have experienced assault. We must also ensure there are transitional programs as they re-enter civilian life and hire more women to fill vacant VA positions, especially around women’s and maternity health, and counseling.”

For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and [email protected].

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