Military Sexual Trauma: Prevention and Support Services

Military sexual trauma (MST) is a pervasive issue that affects service members of all genders and branches of the military. This blog post explores the prevalence of MST, the impact on survivors, and the importance of prevention and support services in addressing this critical issue.

 Understanding Military Sexual Trauma

 Prevalence and Impact

- Scope of the Problem: MST refers to experiences of sexual assault or harassment during military service. According to recent studies, MST affects a significant number of service members, with estimates ranging from 20% to 50% of women and 1% to 10% of men experiencing MST during their military careers.

- Impact on Survivors: MST can have profound and lasting effects on survivors' mental health, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation. Survivors may also experience challenges in their personal and professional lives, including difficulties forming relationships, maintaining employment, and accessing healthcare.

 Prevention and Support Services

 Prevention Efforts

- Education and Training: Promote education and training programs that raise awareness of MST, emphasize the importance of bystander intervention, and provide strategies for preventing sexual assault and harassment in military settings.

- Policy and Accountability: Advocate for policies and procedures that hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, provide support and protection for survivors, and create a culture of respect and accountability within the military.

 Support Services

- Victim Advocacy: Offer victim advocacy services that provide survivors with confidential support, information, and resources, including assistance with reporting incidents, accessing healthcare, and navigating legal processes.

- Counseling and Therapy: Ensure access to trauma-informed counseling and therapy services that address the unique needs of MST survivors, including specialized treatment modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

- Peer Support and Group Therapy: Facilitate peer support groups and group therapy sessions that provide survivors with opportunities to connect with others who have experienced similar challenges, share experiences, and receive validation and support from their peers.

 Heroes Compass Initiatives

At Heroes Compass, we are committed to addressing MST and supporting survivors through:

- Awareness Campaigns: Launching awareness campaigns and educational initiatives to raise awareness of MST, reduce stigma, and promote prevention and support services for survivors.

- Advocacy and Policy Reform: Advocating for policy changes and reforms that address systemic issues related to MST, improve reporting mechanisms, and enhance support services for survivors within the military and veteran communities.

- Collaborative Partnerships: Partnering with government agencies, veteran service organizations, advocacy groups, and healthcare providers to develop comprehensive support networks and resources for MST survivors and their families.


Military sexual trauma is a serious and pervasive issue that requires a multifaceted approach to prevention and support. By raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, and providing access to comprehensive support services, we can empower survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and create a safer and more supportive environment for all service members. At Heroes Compass, we are dedicated to addressing MST and supporting survivors through our programs, partnerships, and advocacy efforts. For more information on our initiatives and how you can get involved, please contact us at Together, we can work towards preventing MST and supporting survivors in their journey towards healing and recovery.