What is military sexual trauma?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines military sexual trauma (MST) as sexual harassment that is threatening or physical assault of a sexual nature.1 These traumas occur when a person is in the military.1 The location, the genders of the people involved, and their relationship do not matter.1
Sexual harassment may include:
- A put-down of your gender.
- Flirting when you've made clear it's not welcome.
- Sexual comments or gestures about your body or lifestyle.
- Pressure for sexual favors.
Sexual assault can be any sort of activity that you don't want. It doesn't have to be physical. Sexual threats or bullying are sexual assault. Rape is not the only type of sexual assault. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act, including touching or grabbing.