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VA San Diego Healthcare System
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
Thursday, April 15, 2021About 1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men have told their VA healthcare provider that they experienced Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Although rates of MST are higher among women, because there are so many more men than women in the military, there are significant numbers of women AND men seen at VA who have experienced MST. At VA San Diego alone, we serve approximately 4,000 Veterans who have experienced MST, approximately 1/3 of whom are men. Anonymous surveys suggest the number of victims is even higher than these VA statistics.
Common concerns/struggles related to experiences of MST:
Reported by Women: Strong emotions, relationship problems, eating or boy image issues, difficulties with trust, chronic pain, self-esteem problems, sexual concerns, work/school problems, avoidance/isolation.
Reported by Men: Masculinity Worries, Sexual Concerns, Relationship Problems, Anger, Shame, Reckless Behavior, Sleep trouble, chronic pain, and panic/anxiety.
MST is NEVER your fault. There are many paths to healing from MST. VA Can Help.
- VA has free MST-related services for Veterans
- You may be able to receive MST-related services even if you are not eligible for other VA care
- No documentation of the MST experience is needed to get care
- Every VA has an MST Coordinator to help you access services and resources
- Contact your local VA health care facility and ask to speak to the MST Coordinator for more information
For more information, please contact Dr. Autumn Backhaus, MST Coordinator, Licensed Psychologist at 858-642-1662 or 858-282-1859.