Military Sexual Trauma

Military sexual trauma (MST) is defined as any experience of sexual harassment, rape, or sexual assault that occurs during one’s military service period (Title 38 U.S. Code 1720D). Sexual harassment is characterized as recurrent, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature that is intimidating in nature. Examples of MST include unsolicited touch; inappropriate remarks about one’s physical form; threats of a sexual nature; repeated, threatening comments about sexual behaviors; unwanted sexual advances; physically forced or psychologically pressured sexual activities; abuse of authority that renders the recipient in a disempowered position; and sexual activity without mutual consent of all involved parties (e.g., due to intoxication).

In the United States, a discrepancy exists between the incidence of MST, formal processed reports, and adjudication of cases. In ...

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