Hundreds of female troops who accused their fellow soldiers of rape were incorrectly labeled with a personality disorder, it has been learned.
The victims reported that after requesting assistance for sexual assault from the military’s departments of community mental health (DCMH), they were diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder and medically discharged.
Paula Edwards, the chief executive of Salute Her UK, a charity for female military workers who have endured rape and sexual assault, told The Telegraph that women were being “overdiagnosed and misdiagnosed” so that the military could “get rid of the problem.”
It comes one month after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was pushed to combat the ‘toxic culture’ of sexual assault after hundreds of servicewomen claimed abuse during their training.
After hundreds of servicewomen reported sexual assaults during training, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was urged to combat the “toxic culture” of sexual assault.
Ms. Edwards noted that the inclusion of a diagnosis in the medical records of young women receiving aid from her organization became a “common theme.”
She said: ‘It is a troubling pattern. A woman is raped therefore she rushes to DCMH. She is understandably disorganized. She is maybe suicidal.
Instead of diagnosing her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the physician diagnoses her with personality disorder.
She noted that individuals with this designation cannot serve in the military, allowing the military to “get rid of the problem.”
133 of the 393 referrals Salute Her UK received in the past year were diagnosed with a personality disorder, according to the organization’s own statistics.
According to female victims, they were released from the Armed Forces after being diagnosed with emotionally unstable personality disorder and were “written off.”
Each victim was younger than 27 years old.
An unidentified female soldier was raped by a coworker early in her career. After contacting DCMH for assistance, she was provided cognitive behavioral treatment, which she did not find beneficial.
She noted that once the counseling session concluded, there was no “Plan B.”
Unbeknownst to her, the soldier was diagnosed with a personality disorder; she learned of the diagnosis only when she was threatened with medical dismissal.
She stated, “Once this is on your record, it cannot be removed, and it has affected my life.”
‘Initially, I had no idea what the diagnosis was. I had to look it up on Google. I was astonished because I did not exhibit these symptoms or repetitive behaviors, yet my work was thriving.
According to Salute Her UK’s own numbers, 133 women were diagnosed with a personality disorder out of 393 referrals made in the past year.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, personality disorders affect around one in twenty adults in the United Kingdom.
Ms. Edwards stated, “It is extremely concerning that a disproportionate number of women registered with the charity have this diagnosis.”
Ahmed Al-Nahhas, the head of military claims at the law firm Bolt Burden Kemp, noted the ‘worrisome’ trend over the past three years.
If a patient has no history of mental illness or personality issue, they become ill after experiencing a recent event. The first consideration for a doctor should be the trauma-related condition, not the patient’s personality, he stated.
“I am quite dubious of this tendency and how it dilutes what is happening to women in the Armed Forces. It compromises their legal rights and may hinder their recuperation.
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst has accused Private Craig Gough of sexually abusing a female coworker.
Mr. Al-Nahhas testified before the Sarah Atherton-led Atherton Inquiry about sexual assault and harassment in the military.
He stated, “There is certainly a trend, and in some cases it could indicate clinical negligence.”
Mr. Al-Nahhas stated that he has spoken with a large number of women who reported being raped, sexually assaulted, or harassed by coworkers or their chain of command.
We’ve developed the “Unacceptable Behaviours Hub” to assist our workers in obtaining the necessary guidance and care in order to provide maximum support and confront unacceptable behavior head-on.
In August of 2012, it was reported that scores of youths who had served in the military had been sexually molested by fellow soldiers or instructors, according to defence officials.
Nearly fifty percent of individuals claiming sexual abuse were undertaking training at an Army college in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, which is attended by school-leavers as young as sixteen.
A court martial heard that, in one horrific incident at Sandhurst, a British Army soldier sexually attacked a female colleague in her room while telling her, “Don’t worry, I won’t beg you,” following an all-night drinking session.
After an all-night drinking binge, Private Craig Gough reportedly assaulted the woman at the military academy in Berkshire after ‘going to check if she wanted sex’
The hearing was informed that the 36-year-old male removed the woman’s underpants, conducted oral sex on her, and then placed his hand around her throat.