What Everyone Should Know About Military Sexual Trauma
Military Sexual Trauma is defined as: sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred during a Veteran’s military service. MST can occur on or off base and while a Veteran was on or off duty. Perpetrators can be men or women, military personnel or civilians, commanding officers or subordinates, strangers, friends, or intimate partners.
Sexual Assault and Harassment have nothing to do with sex. Rape is never about sex. All of these actions are about Power and Control.
Both men and women are victims of sexual assault. When sexual assault occurs in a male-to-male or female-to-female situation – it has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Rape is always about Power and Control.
Military Sexual Trauma has both Psychological and Physical effects. Post Traumatic Stress Injury and Depression are common conditions linked to Military Sexual Trauma. However, physical conditions such as; Chronic Pain, Headaches and Gastrointestinal Problems are also common. In Women, Gynecology issues may also arise.
There is help! You are not alone! Under Public Law 103 – the Veterans Administration must provide free care for the survivors of Military Sexual Trauma. This may also include care for the physical conditions that are commonly associated with the trauma. There are also community organizations that are willing and ready to assist you.
Iowa City VA Hospital – 319-338-0581 (ask to speak to the MST Coordinator)
Rape Victim Advocacy Program – 1-800-228-1625 or 319-335-6000
Des Moines VA Medical Center MST Coordinator Kendy Hakeman (515) 699- 5677