Old Memories, Fresh Wounds
Dr. Daniel Roberts, along with a partner, conducts a moral injury study for women veterans. (We are still looking for participants. If you are a female veteran and experienced something while serving that caused inner conflict or went against your moral values, consider contacting us: Contact Us Page). Although military sexual trauma is not synonymous with moral injury, the women I interviewed commonly experienced rape. That is very disturbing. Even more disturbing is that 30 years later, that deep wounding remains as sore and fresh as when it first happened.
While the men who committed these crimes went unpunished, the victims—women—spent the rest of their lives in pain. Due to the physical damage they suffered, some cannot have the children they desperately wanted. Others lost their ability to have an intimate relationship with another person. When one woman reported the rape to authorities, her family disowned her.
As a caregiver, hearing these stories is challenging. I want to believe in healing, but some women experienced limited recovery despite therapy. They are not powerless; many pursue education and advocate for change, using their pain to help others.
I won’t give up on their healing, but I can’t do it alone. More caregivers, especially men, must come to their aid. Until more male leaders, preachers, and support providers join the cause, tragedies will persist.
We address the issue through the Women Veterans and Clergy Conferences in Richmond, VA, and Charleson, SC. These meetings gather women veterans, clergy, and caregivers from various perspectives to promote change and healing. Veteran storytelling is a significant part of these events, offering insight into the problem’s scale and motivating attendees to work for change.
Our goal is not commercialization; the conferences are free and serve as a starting point to foster collaboration and relationships between women veterans and support providers. Learn more at the Upcoming Event Page.
Dr. Daniel Roberts, an author and consultant, conducts world-class education and research in military chaplaincy. With over 15 years of experience supporting the armed forces, he mentors thousands of military chaplains from the US Army, Air Force, and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Dr. Roberts played a key role in developing military doctrine for the deployment of chaplains as religious advisers in the CAF.
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