Military Sexual Assault Essay

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Sexual Assault in the military has become an uprising problem. Within the military community, the term sexual assault carries a meaning that includes everything from violent sexual acts such as rape and forcible sodomy, to assault with intent to commit rape, unwanted sexual touching or attention and being a witness of the crime and not reporting it. Although most believe those who commit such heinous crimes are usually a person or persons with a violent record, violence is not a prerequisite for sexual assault. Once a service member becomes a victim of sexual assault, they become much more than a victim of just the crime itself. They fall victim to their own thoughts, never being able to trust their chain of command again, jeopardizing careers…show more content…
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is what Veterans using the VA Healthcare system refer to when discussing sexual harassment and sexual assault that takes place in military settings. “Much of the research literature with military veterans identifies the population of interest through the use of MST screening, for which a positive response can indicate a range of experiences, including rape, sexual Assault, experienced by the veteran during military service” (Street & Stafford, n.d.). Although most people focus the attention on women service members being the victims in a lot of the cases at VA clinics, “data indicates that 50% of survivors are actually men. For example, a 2011 review (Allard, Nunnink, Gregory, Klest, & Platt, 2011) of peer reviewed articles published up to December 2009 identified 74 articles focused on MST, but of those, only two articles focused on men only” (O’Brien, Keith, & Shoemaker, 2015). Sexual Trauma does not only occur during training or peacetime, the stress of war could be associated with rising rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment. “Research with Persian Gulf War military personnel conducted by Jessica Wolfe and colleagues found that rates of sexual assault (7%), physical sexual harassment (33%) and verbal sexual harassment (66%) were higher than those typically found in peacetime military samples” (Street & Stafford, n.d.). None the less, whether a service member is male or female or off to war vs training on US soil, the traumatic experience of falling victim to sexual assault forever change a person’s well-being. “Physical and sexual assault contribute to long-lasting physical and emotional suffering among men and women across the life span” (Bryan, McNaugton-Cassill, Osman, & Hernandez, 2013) therefor suicide rates are rising in sexual assault victims “because they adversely affect the victim’s sense of identity and self-worth, such that the victim begins to perceive him- or herself
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