#Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is a phenomenon in which active duty service members suffer sexual harassment, abuse, or rape at the hands of those that they serve with. Unfortunately, it is very common for both #Men And Women to experience MST. Many service members are finding resources and ways to report, but the problem is that the leadership fails to hold abusers accountable and allows abusers to thrive while often shaming the victim.

There is a secret app called “Whisper” in which people can anonymously post things that they need to get off of their chests. Overwhelmingly, many service members have admitted that they have been #Sexually Assaulted or abused.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Let’s take a look at some of the confessions from service members (trigger warning for instances of rape, sexual assault, and battery):

Confessions about military sexual trauma

1. At 19, I was raped in the Army and sexually harassed on a daily basis by both men and women. A female Sergeant told me not to tell. I didn’t. To this day, I rarely admit that I am a soldier just to avoid questions.

2. I was raped by two different men in AIT in the Army. I never told anyone. This happens way too often to many female military members.

3. I have a terrible suspicion that the rest of the country thinks we have curbed sexual assault in the military. We haven’t. We just don’t tell anymore. I did and it ruined my career.

4. I was raped by a fellow soldier in the Army and I contracted HIV. Today, someone just called me a w****.

Advertisements

5. I served in the Army for six years. When I went to Iraq I was shot at, raped, and went through a divorce. Freedom isn’t free: it comes with a high price…Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and MST.

6. I had an abortion while I was in the Army. A month later I was drugged and gang raped by fellow soldiers. The anxiety and shame are slowly killing me.

7. I was sexually assaulted in the military, diagnosed with PTSD, and then discharged. I have to explain to my dad why I failed and why I am being discharged.

8. I was sexually assaulted on deployment and nothing was done about it. It hurts me every day that the “world’s greatest Navy” still denies what happened to me.

9. I reported it, I saw him every day for two months. At the Article 32 hearing I was told that my character was in question and wasn’t drunk enough to be raped.

Advertisements

He later got promoted and got away with it.

10. I was drugged and raped by two Marines when I was in the Army.

11. I am a female Marine. I was raped last week when I was passed out drunk. Just another statistic.

12. I am a female Marine that was raped. Now I am coping with it. Hope I make it through another night.

What is the military doing to combat this?

Unfortunately, the military needs better training and needs to have civilian entities control any court proceedings. Many civilian advocates and legislators are fighting to reform military policy which hopefully will take away commanding officers' ability to prosecute offenders. Large scale cultural changes will need to take place before MST is minimized.

Commanding officers are often biased, un-trained, and in some cases, they are the abuser. It is horribly unfortunate that the United States military is not more unified, and that they see their female counterparts as objects that can be abused instead of partners in patriotism. The effects of MST reach beyond just depression and PTSD.