Military Sexual Trauma
What is Military Sexual Trauma?
Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity were someone is involved against his or her will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences or with implied favors in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person's body or sexual activities; and/or threatening and unwelcome sexual advances.
Both women and men can experience MST during their service. We also know that people can recover from trauma. The VA has services to help Veterans with recovery.
What services are available?
The VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment to male and female Veterans for mental and physical health conditions that are related to experiences of MST. You do not need to be service connected and may be able to receive this benefit even if you are not eligible for other VA care. You do not need to have reported the incident when it happened or have other documentation that it occurred.
How does one get help? Ask your Primary Care provider, social worker, or another direct care staff to request a consult to a mental health provider.
Dr. Martha Strachan, PhD.
- Various locations, Program Coordinator
Hours of Operation
- 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.