VA Boston Healthcare System
Military Sexual Trauma
At 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.
MST includes sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred while a veteran was in the military. Experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual attention, touching or grabbing, threatening, offensive remarks about a person's body, sexual activities, forced sex, and/or threatening and unwelcome sexual advances.
Both women and men can experience MST during their service. Did you know that about 1 in 5 women and 1 in 100 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. MST also occurs any time the survivor isn't able to give consent, such as while intoxicated or drugged, or when they are pressured into giving consent in exchange for promises of favorable duties or promotion, or threats of harm to their career. The perpetrator need not be in the military for it to be considered MST.
Some Difficulties reported by MST survivors include:
- Strong emotions, such as depression, increased irritability/anger and/or
intense emotional reactions
- Feelings of numbness or detachment from others and surroundings
- Trouble sleeping including bad dreams or disturbing nightmares
- Difficulties with attention, concentration and memory
- Problems with alcohol or other drugs
- Feeling unsafe, easily startled, or jumpy, and difficulty trusting others
- Relationship difficulties
- Physical health problems including sexual difficulties, chronic pain,
weight or eating problems, gastrointestinal problems and/or frequent
migraines or headaches
Recovery is possible.
Fortunately, recovery is possible and VA has free, confidential services available to help you do this. You do not have 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.
Additional services for MST survivors include:
- Free, confidential consultation regarding healthcare concerns and treatment
- Assistance with questions related to eligibility for services and billing for care
related to MST
- Information on current local and national resources including outpatient,
substance abuse, and residential treatment programs
- Review of treatment options available and assistance with needed referrals
For questions related to care for Military Sexual Trauma, you can contact our facility's MST Coordinators:
Anne Banducci, Ph.D. 617-435-5956 or Leslie Wright, Ph.D. 857-364-3611
- Brockton, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8 am - 4 pm