Military Sexual Trauma
If you survived sexual assault while serving in the military, there are services available to help you recover from the experience.
What is Military Sexual Trauma?
Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is the term used by the Department of Veteran Affairs to describe the effects of sexual violence experienced by a military Service member. Many of the effects are similar to the experiences of civilian survivors. As a Service member, you may experience additional reactions that are more specific to your military experience.
Active Duty Service Member Resources
DoD Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7— providing survivors with the help they need anytime, anywhere.
- Call the Telephone Helpline at 877.995.5247. The phone number is the same inside the U.S. or via the DSN.
- Visit the Online Helpline at SafeHelpline.org for live, confidential help through a secure instant-messaging format.
- Visit Safe HelpRoom to connect to a secure community of survivors that can meet to help each other in a safe, moderated, online platform, 24/7. Visit the online chatroom at SafeHelpRoom.org.
- Download the free Self-Care App (iOS and Android) to create a customized self-care plan and connect to all of the Safe Helpline resources from anywhere in the world. Self-care plans and exercises can be accessed any time, even without an internet connection. Users can also use the App to call the Telephone Helpline for free using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology.
- Text your zip code or installation/base name to 55-247 (in the U.S.) or 202.470.5546 (outside the U.S.), and you will receive a text back with contact information for the resource you requested. (Message and data rates may apply.)
Transitioning Service Members Resources
Are you in the process of separating or retiring from Military Service? Being a survivor of sexual assault and going through the transition process can be difficult.
Visit Safe Helpline’s Transitioning Service Member resource search to access hundreds of resources for Active Duty, Veteran, and civilian resources that best fit your needs.
If you are a veteran and survivor of sexual assault, there are resources to help you recover. You can receive help even if you didn’t report the crime when it occurred. Most likely, a VA benefits coordinator will ask you directly if you’ve survived sexual assault. The VA recognizes that this is an underreported crime and hopes directly asking will let survivors know that there is special care available for them.