Military Sexual Trauma
About 1 in 5 women have told their VA healthcare provider that they experienced sexual trauma in the military. With such widespread prevalence, it’s important to know some facts about Military Sexual Trauma (“MST”):
• Defined by the VA as: sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while in service
• Experienced by both men and women
• You need not be service connected to received services from the VA related to MST and may be able to receive services EVEN IF you’re not eligible for other VA care
• You need not have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred
• BUT if you have mental or physical diagnoses and treatment related to MST, you should apply for service-connected disability compensation for these impairments. PTSD is most commonly associated with MST but other related diagnoses may include depression and other mood disorders, and substance use disorders.
For assistance with MST, you can contact the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator at your VA Regional Office. Their email information is available here.
If you experienced MST while in service and have filed for VA disability compensation or pension, contact an experienced disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly for assistant navigating the difficult VA system. Our attorneys have been assisting Veterans Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana for over a decade.