Last year, CalVet and the commission asked CRB to conduct a second survey to measure the current needs of women veterans and establish a baseline for service utilization. Nearly 900 women veterans participated in the 2011 survey, a considerably larger sample than the first. The survey sample included all branches of the military and eras of service from World War II to Operation New Dawn. Both former officers and enlisted women were represented.
The 43-question survey asked about needs at the time of separation from the military and about current needs on both healthcare and non-healthcare topics. It also included questions to determine knowledge of services available to women veterans and utilization of those services.
Key findings from the report include the following:
Many women veterans are unaware of state and federal services and benefits.
Women veterans need help finding employment when they separate from the service.
Women veterans want services geared toward their unique needs, including women-specific healthcare and help with military sexual trauma (MST).
CalVet and CRB will distribute the report to lawmakers, veteran service organizations and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to help inform policymakers about California’s women veterans. The report will be available online soon on the CRB web site at www.library.ca.gov/crb/12/12-004.pdf and online on the CalVet web site at http://www.calvet.ca.gov/WomenMinority/WomenSurvey.aspx.