Military Sexual Trauma
At the VA Boston Healthcare System we are committed to providing timely access to state-of-the-art health care services for Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivors.
Both women and men can experience MST during their service. Did you know that about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men have told their VA healthcare provider that they experienced MST? Despite higher rates among women, there are actually comparable numbers of men and women seen in VA who experienced MST, due to the greater numbers of men in the military. At Boston VA, more than 840 women and 640 men have told their providers they have experienced MST.
Photo: Flag display at VA Boston for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2021. The flags on the left represent the number of women MST survivors at VA Boston; the flags on the right represent the number of male survivors.
For questions related to care for Military Sexual Trauma, you can contact the VA Boston MST Coordinators, who can meet with you over the phone, via VA Video Connect, or in person at the Jamaica Plain campus of the Boston VA.
MST includes any sexual activity in which someone is involved against their will, such as:
- Physically forced into participation
- Unable to consent to sexual activities (e.g., intoxicated)
- Coercion (e.g., threats, promises of rewards or as part of hazing)
- Can involve things such as:
- Threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities
- Threatening and unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwanted touching or grabbing
- Oral sex, anal sex, sexual penetration with an object or sexual intercourse
- Compliance does NOT mean consent
- Can occur on or off base, while a Veteran was on or off duty
- Perpetrators can be any gender, military personnel, civilians, commanding officers, subordinates, strangers, friends or intimate partners
Recovery is possible and VA has free, confidential services available to help. You do NOT have to be service connected. You 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.