#MeToo in the Military: The Aftermath of Military Sexual Assault

March 13, 2019 | Arizona senator Martha McSally has brought attention to the issue of military sexual assault by bravely sharing her personal story at a subcommittee hearing last week. McSally served in the Air Force, where she was the first American woman to fly in combat after a ban on women was lifted.

“We’ve come a long way to stop military sexual assault but we have a long way to go,” she added.

Last year, the Defense Department announced that in fiscal year 2017, 5,277 service members reported being victims of sexual assault during their time of service. Of those who reported, 4,193 were women. Military sexual trauma may cause PTSD, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, physical ailments and relationship difficulties.

There is a significant association between PTSD and military sexual trauma. According to the VA, women experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at two to three times the rate that men do. PTSD can be treated effectively with therapy and medication, and women are somewhat more likely to seek PTSD treatment than men. Although many programs seek to help veterans, there may still be barriers to treatment.

Our partner, Project Headstrong, seeks to eliminate those barriers by offering cost-free, bureaucracy-free, and stigma-free treatment. Post-9/11 veterans and veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma qualify for treatment through Headstrong, which is provided by CFR’s highly trained staff therapists who specialize in veteran care.

If you know someone who could benefit from our services, visit our website for more information today.