CopShock: Second Edition
Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR

 Women-Only Police Associations

To address issues that female officers experience on the job, there is a need for women-only groups. Studies show that women officers subjected to sexual harassment, sexism and prejudice are vulnerable to acquiring PTSD. Women officers are more stressed-out and have higher burnout rates than men.

With a high attrition rate, women officers find that hostility in the workplace is making them sick. A San Francisco police department study concludes that they become more physically exhausted and are more jittery and irritated than male cops. They experience more headaches, backaches, stomachaches and sleep problems.

At the same time, studies also show that women are exceptional at defusing potentially violent situations, and save departments money because they are rarely named in excessive use-of-force lawsuits.


International Association of Women Police (IAWP)
Since 1915, the IAWP has advanced the interests of policewomen, visualizing “a world where women working in the criminal justice professions are treated justly, fairly, and equitably by the agencies they serve.”
   Spanning the globe, the Association provides a network of support and training for every woman in the criminal justice system, as well as mentoring, peer support, scholarships, networking and resources.
   Go to:


National Center for Women & Policing (NCWP)
Although female officers have proven themselves as good defusers of potentially violent situations, women account for only 13 percent of police officers across the country. The National Center for Women & Policing (NCWP) promotes increasing the numbers of women at all ranks of law enforcement as a strategy to improve police response to violence against women, reduce police brutality and excessive force, and strengthen community policing.
   Among the NCWP’s projects are training, networking, internships, leadership development, law enforcement assistance programs, research conferences and more.
   Go to:


Women In Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
WIFLE promotes gender equity through its leadership education center that provides training, research, scholarships, awards, and networking opportunities in partnership with law enforcement agencies, members and supportive sponsors. Among its goals are assisting agencies recruit, retain, train and promote women in federal law enforcement. The website offers the latest news affecting women federal law enforcement, studies, job availability and more.
   Go to: Write: WIFLE, PMB-204, Suite 102, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: 703-548-9211.


Women Peace Officers Association (WPOA)
Formed in 1928, the WPOA of California provides a forum of continuing education and training. It cultivates an atmosphere that encourages camaraderie and an open exchange of ideas.
   The organization offers scholarships for law enforcement personnel, supports the Peace Officer’s Memorial in Sacramento, monitors legislative information and offers awards for professional achievement and valor. This association serves as a model for female officers wishing to form their own groups.
   Go to: Write: WPOA, PO Box 589, Sacramento, CA 95812. Phone: 909-698-6216.