Military Sexual Trauma - Iowa City VA Health Care System
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Iowa City VA Health Care System

 

Military Sexual Trauma

What is MST?

Military sexual trauma, or MST, is the term used by VA to refer to experiences of sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that a Veteran experienced during his or her military service. Both men and women can experience MST. The identity or characteristics of the perpetrator, whether the Servicemember was on or off duty at the time, and whether he or she was on or off base at the time do not matter. If these experiences occurred while an individual was on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, they are considered by VA to be MST.

MST is an experience, not a diagnosis or a mental health condition, and as with other forms of trauma, there are a variety of reactions that Veterans can have in response to MST. Many individuals recover without professional help; others may generally function well in their life, but continue to experience some level of difficulties or have strong reactions in certain situations. For some Veterans, the experience of MST may continue to affect their mental and physical health in significant ways, even many years later. Fortunately, people can recover from experiences of trauma, and VA has effective services to help Veterans do this.

What services are available at Iowa City VAHCS?

All treatment for physical and mental health conditions related to experiences of MST is provided free of charge. To receive free treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST, Veterans do not need to be service connected (or have a VA disability rating). Veterans may be able to receive this benefit even if they are not eligible for other VA care. Veterans are able to meet with a provider of the gender of their preference. Find more information on mental health services at Iowa City and associated clinics here.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 

How can I get help?

  • Speak with your existing VA healthcare provider
  • Contact the MST Coordinator for Iowa City VAHCS by calling the MST Coordinator's cell at 319-631-1099. You may also call the main facility at 319-338-0581, and ask to be transferred to the MST Coordinator.
  • A list of VA facilities and locations can be found online at www.iowacity.va.gov.

Where can I find more information?

Learn about VA’s MST-related resources

http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome.asp

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/types/violence/military-sexual-trauma-general.asp

See recovery stories from veterans who have experienced MST

http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/military-sexual-trauma

For male survivors

http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/types/violence/men-sexual-trauma.asp

For female survivors

http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/outreachmaterials/abuseandviolence/sexual_trauma.asp

Sexual Assault Support for DoD

https://safehelpline.org/

Contact Info

Location

  • Main Hospital

Contact Number(s)

  • 319-631-1099

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday 8:00am-4:30pm