Military Sexual Trauma Awareness

Hands of person in uniform with folded on tableHDA started a training and outreach effort to bring the issue of “MST” – the rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment of military Service Members – to the forefront and to improve the supports available to survivors.

More military service members are sexually assaulted than killed in combat, and these assaults cause PTSD at higher rates than do battlefield experiences. “Military sexual trauma,” or MST, is the term used by the Veterans Administration to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that a service member experiences during his or her military service. The topic gained awareness following release of the 2012 documentary “The Invisible War.”

That year, HDA started a training and outreach effort to provide critical information on this under-reported problem. HDA’s nationally recognized workshops educate care professionals and community members on how to recognize MST, make appropriate referrals, and advocate for the survivors. HDA is the only civilian organization approved to offer Military Victim Advocate continuing education credits, with trainings geared to medical and behavioral health professionals working with survivors.

Offerings are enhanced with a podcast series and monthly newsletter that gathers news items and summarizes journal articles for professionals, making it a must-read in the field.

The work is supported by the VNA Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies.

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