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Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

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The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

ME women veterans request counselors for military sexual trauma

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Thursday, April 11, 2024   

Advocates for women veterans, who've experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military, are asking state lawmakers for much-needed funding.

Previous legislation backed the creation of two sexual trauma liaisons at community-based organizations in the state, but funding never came to fruition.

Executive Director of the Augusta-based Sisters-in-Arms Center, Rebecca Cornell du Houx, said lawmakers have a chance to help veteran survivors rebuild their lives.

"To have a consistent clinician there to provide that trauma treatment to the woman veteran in a place that they're safe," said Cornell du Houx, "I think, can really, really support their recovery."

Cornell du Houx said one in three women soldiers experience some form of sexual trauma while in the military but many incidents go unreported.

There are more than 10,000 women veterans currently living in Maine.

Women veterans are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the homeless population, and are four times more likely to become homeless than their male peers.

Researchers also now identify military sexual trauma as the biggest factor driving a more than 60% increase in suicide rates among women veterans since 2001.

Cornell du Houx said while group therapy is available to these veterans, state funding would provide for more formalized treatment - especially for those coming off active-duty.

"I think if people knew the stories of what had happened to these women while they were in the service, just really disheartening stories of assault," said Cornell du Houx, "I think that they wouldn't hesitate to fund a position so that they could get help."

Cornell du Houx said sexual trauma is most prevalent among lower-ranking seventeen and eighteen-year-olds, who are influenced to think that reporting an incident is a betrayal of a fellow soldier.

She said it's important to support those who have come forward, to advocate for themselves and others, and who took an oath to serve their country.





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