The Trauma Lines Blog

Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists

Military Sexual Trauma

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PTSD isn’t always a result of trauma sustained on the battlefield. For some soldiers, post-traumatic stress has been the result of sexual abuse.

While a catch-all term that encompasses everything from sexual harassment to sexual assault, “Military Sexual Trauma” is a growing concern for the VA.

The VA says more than 48,000 veterans tested positive for Military Sexual Abuse in 2008 alone. However, officials feel as though that number is likely far greater, since, like many victims of sexual abuse, veterans choose to keep their trauma a secret:

“Similar to male veterans, women who have served in the military are quite strong,” says Eve Davison, a clinical psychologist at the VA hospital in Boston.

Many women vets don’t want to talk about sexual trauma. They don’t want to admit it. They don’t want to report it. 

What is the VA doing to combat this trauma?

“[The VA] provides free care to any veteran that walks into VA medical centers that screens positive for military sexual trauma,” [Erin Mulhall, a director of research for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an advocacy group] says. “It’s bolstered training for its mental health professionals on [military sexual trauma] and also provides disability compensation for those that have developed some major health problems due to their trauma.”

Click here for more information on Military Sexual Trauma from VA.gov.

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Written by traumalines

May 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

One Response

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  1. […] a comment » We first wrote about military sexual trauma (MST) back in May of this year. Despite increased efforts from the VA to educate, treat and prevent […]


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