The Department of Veterans Affairs offers Counseling and Treatment for Military Sexual Trauma (MST). In 1992, the VA was authorized by Public Law to provide counseling and treatment for military sexual trauma. To date, all Veterans are being asked about military sexual trauma experiences due to the impact it may have on a Veteran’s physical and emotional quality of life.
Some Aftereffects of a sexual trauma can include:
. Disturbing memories or nightmares
. Difficulty feeling safe
. Feelings of depression
. Problems with alcohol or other drugs
. Feeling isolated from other people
. Problems with anger or irritability
. Sleep problems
Currently, a number of Veterans, both women and men, have experiences sexual trauma during their military service. Some Veterans have sought counseling and treatment to deal with the effects the trauma has had on their quality of life. Trauma counseling can help Veterans to better cope with a past experience of military sexual trauma and to regain their confidence, self-esteem, and hopefully, improve their quality of life.
What is Military Sexual Trauma?
Sexual trauma can include sexual harassment or sexual assault. Sexual harassment is any repeated, unwelcome sexual behavior that occurs in the workplace. It includes things like offensive sexual remarks, unwanted sexual advances, or pressure for sexual favors. Sexual assault is any sort of sexual activity in which one person is involved against his or her will.
A woman Veteran who would like more information can contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at the local VA Medical Center. Many Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Regional Offices have a Women Veterans Coordinator available to assist women Veterans with information about VA services and benefits. Vet Center staff is available to provide information and counseling for men and women.
For more information, contact your nearest VA Medical Center, VA Regional Office, Vet Center, or call 1-800-827-1000.