Military Sexual Trauma or MST is a sexual activity that is not consented to by a service member during his or her military service. These activities were against his or her will — he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities. Service members are forced into sexual activities with threats of negative consequences. Service members are told that they will have better treatment in exchange for sex. Service members may be encouraged to increase alcohol intake and then unable to consent to sexual activities due to intoxication and then physically forced into sexual activities.
According to National data from the VA screening, about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men respond “yes,” that they experienced MST. These numbers may be low due to service members prefer not to talk about their experiences of sexual assault due to fears of being ostracized, ridiculed, outcast. Some prefer not to speak out due to fear of not being promoted. Service members may not be able to speak out about being sexually assaulted because it might be that perpetrators of the sexual assault are within their chain of command. There is a lot of stigma in mental health that continues to perpetuate in both the civilian and military establishments.
Anyone who has experienced sexual trauma may have issues with their physical health, have difficulty feeling safe, and unable to trust others. Many have had overwhelming sadness, depression, anxiety. Some have disturbing memories or nightmares and have difficulty with their sleep pattern. Some may self medicate and turn to alcohol or other illicit drugs. Many have felt isolated, have anger, irritability, or very strong emotions. If you are having difficulty with your daily routines, increased anxiety, worsening depression, and agitation contact us. Click here to book an appointment.