OUR COMMON GROUND           with Janice Graham

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“Sexual Assault and Mental Health in the Military : Black Veteran Pain Invisible" l Dr. Cathy Santos l September 28

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham 

“Sexual Assault and Mental Health in the Military : Black Veteran Pain Invisible" 

Saturday, September 28, 2013      10 pm ET LIVE

Guest: Cathy Santos,Chairwoman, Pennsylvania Department of Disabled American Veterans; Founder, National Alliance of Women Veterans, Philadelphia, PA

ABOUT Cathy Santos 

Cathy Bennett-Santos is the newly appointed Chairwoman to Pennsylvania Department of the Disabled American Veterans, and is Founder of the National Alliance of Women Veterans, Incorporated established in 2003. She is an advocate and strategist for women who have served in the armed services. Her priorities and focus for the past twenty years comprise: Military Sexual Assault, Research and Experimentation of women veterans, advocating specific gender focused policy and legislation relating to women veterans; and addressing transitional issues that influence their lives that are encouraged to lead to healing and wholeness. 

She holds a doctorate in Pastoral Counseling, Master of Science in Economic Development and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science; has received many awards and honors in her work over the years most notable to include 2012 “Most Viewed LinkedIn”, NAACP Community Service Award, several Congressional, Senate and City Council awards and citations; and President Obama Point of Light Community Service Award, just to name a few.

Six years ago, based on her own Army experiences, Cathy Santos started the National Alliance of Women Veterans to highlight important issues and protect their interests.

"You're talking about unwelcome sexual advances that create a hostile environment for you, and it usually involves a superior," said Cathy Santos, founder and executive director of the Philadelphia-based National Alliance of Women Veterans.
While serving as a U.S. Army medical specialist at Fort Monroe, Va., between 1989 and '92, Santos says she was harassed and raped by three males in her workplace. And though she eventually reported the incidents to military authorities, justice was not served.

Instead, for more than a decade following her honorable discharge, she wandered a wilderness of sorrow, fear and emotional paralysis, all fueled by psychoactive medications administered by a Veterans Administration hospital.
That was until she took a stand.

Since starting the NAWV in 2005, Santos has influenced change not only in the way that the military views sexual conflict among its members, but also in the opportunities and assistance available to women veterans in their civilian lives.

"What my advocacy has been able to do is create policy," Santos said.
The continuum of challenges facing many women veterans only begins with their service-related victimization.
According to Santos, in the post-9/11 era, one of every three military women reports to having been sexually harassed or assaulted.


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Tags: Military, assault, health, mental, service, sexual, veterans

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