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MST and it's effects on Service members and Veterans 

Nearly one in four U.S. servicewomen reports being sexually assaulted in the military. Of those who report, 64% said they were retaliated against for reporting.   For decades, sexual assault and harassment have festered through the ranks of the armed forces, with military leaders repeatedly promising reform and then failing to live up to those promises. 

 Women remain a distinct minority, making up only 16.5 percent of the armed services, yet nearly one in four servicewomen reports experiencing sexual assault in the military, and more than half report experiencing harassment, according to a meta-analysis of 69 studies published in 2018 in the journal Trauma, Violence & Abuse. (Men are victims of assault and harassment, too, though at significantly lower rates than women.)

After their attacks, victims also rarely see justice. Of the more than 6,200 sexual assault reports made by United States service members in fiscal year 2020, only 50 — 0.8 percent — ended in sex-offense convictions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, roughly one-third as many convictions as in 2019. 

From 2009 to 2015, more than 22 percent of service members who left the military after reporting a sexual assault received a less-than-fully-honorable discharge, according to a 2016 investigation by the Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General. That’s nearly one and a half times more than the percentage of overall service members who received less-than-fully-honorable discharges from 2002 to 2013, according to data compiled in a March 2016 report by Swords to Plowshares, a veterans advocacy group.m And this is not a new issue.  

Following the murder of Specialist Vanessa Guillén in 2020, whole sectors of society have become far more aware of the issue of sexual abuse, harassment, and other misconduct within the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Congress has taken action by passing multiple bills to deal with sexual assault. The U.S. military has changed the way in which sexual assault cases are processed. The White House has made sexual harassment a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). 

To almost everyone, Guillén’s murder was a shocking event, one that stunned civilians and military personnel alike. However, this was not an isolated event, nor was it the first of its kind to strike the military and shock the public. Shadow McClaine was murdered by a fellow soldier at Ft. Campbell,  KY, in 2016. Often, the victims have been blamed for their own assaults and murders.

Sadly, the issue of sexual assault and harassment within the military is one that has been building over time and has been a known and serious problem since at least 1985.

It has been spoken of quietly since women began serving during the Revolutionary War.

A Look Back at the History of Sexual Assault in the Military Over the Years

The care provided to those assaulted in service or the VA continues to be uneven. We Advocate the creation of a distinct, permanent occupational field for Sexual Assault Prevention and assistance personnel. It is a critical step toward continuity, clarity, and consistency across all elements of emergency care, reporting, ongoing medical, mental health, and legal aid for survivors.

We are committed at the Military & Veteran Women’s Coalition to addressing this epidemic and ending sexual assault and the retaliation that our Service Members are experiencing after reporting these crimes.  Stand with us to address this serious issue and make your voice heard.  

Resource Sites and orgs supplemented from W0menVetsUSA


Academy of United States Veterans (annual recognition/awards event)

Academy Women (AW)

Addiction Resource

Air Force Women Officers Associated (AFWOA)

All Navy Women's National Alliance (ANWNA)

Alliance for National Defense (AND)

ALS Association (VA Benefits as of 2008)

American Bar Association (National Pro Bono Legal Services)

American Women Veterans Foundation (AWVF)

American Women Veterans Sorority

AmericaServes (Housing/Charlotte & Asheville area)

Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA)

Army Women's Foundation (AWF)

Association of Veteran Women, Inc.

CalVet Women Veterans Program (California)

Cardinal Retreats (Veterans & Families)

Code of Support Foundation (Free case coordination assistance to providers & veterans))

Combat Sexual Assault

Combatting Trafficking in Persons (Department of Defense)

Creative Healing Connections

DAV Transportation Network for Veterans


F7 Group

Fallen Heroes Project (Portraits for Families)

Fatigues to Fabulous

For Women: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (Includes VA & DOD Policies)

Grace After Fire (Wellness)

Hawaii Vet 2 Vet, Inc.

Hidden Heroes (Veteran & military caregivers)

Homeless Veteran Stand Downs/Operation Reveille (Calendar of nationwide recurring events linking veterans to housing, health care, & other services)

Honor and Remember (Flag for Families)

Horses for Heroes--New Mexico, Inc. (Equine Therapy)

In Their Honor

I'm One. I'm a Proud Veteran./Outreach Campaign (Department of Veterans Affairs)

IAVA Rapid Response Referral Program (Transtioning assistance for veterans & families)

IAVA Women Veterans' Campaign (Veteran Identification Card/VIC issued by VA for all honorably discharged veterans)


In Their Honor, LLC

Invitae (Affordable Genetic Testing & Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008)

Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentoring Plus

Justice for Vets

LadyBobette (Speaking, Coaching, Consulting)

Legal Services (National Pro Bono Resources)

Lifeline for Vets (Suicide & Other Resources)

Mentoring Women's Network

Military Women Across the Nation (Formerly WAVES)

Minority Women Veterans Organization

Minority Veterans of America

Modern Military Association of America

Ms. Veteran America

National Association of Black Military Women (NABMW)

National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators (NASWVC)

National Center on Family Homelessness

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

National League of Female Veterans, Inc. (NLFV)

National Park Service Lifetime Access Pass (for disabled veterans)

National Resource for Women Veterans (NRWV)

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

National Veterans Foundation

National Women Veterans of America (NWVA)

National Women Veterans United (NWVU)

National Women's Business Council

National Women’s History Alliance

National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)

Navy Nurse Corps Association (NNCA)

Nevada Military Support Alliance (Assistance to families of fallen service members & catastrophically injured)

Never Alone

One Million Thumbprints (Violence Against Women in War)

One Savvy Veteran

Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States

Operation Reinvent (Employment)

Paralyzed Veterans of America

Pink Berets

Polaris Project (Human Trafficking)

Protect Our Defenders (POD)

Quit Smoking Community

Rebuilding Together (Home Repairs)

Red Feather Ranch

Resolve (National Infertility Association)

ROMVETS (Writers Network)

Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA)



Shield of Sisters

Serenity Trauma Healing Center (California)

Serving Our Veterans (Discounted Fertility Treatments for Wounded Warriors)

Serving Our Veterans (List of Discounted Fertility Clinics for Wounded Warriors)

Service Women’s Action Network (S.W.A.N.)

Service: Women Who Serve

She S.E.R.V.E.D., Inc.

Soldier On (Housing & Services)

Soldiers’ Angels (Care packages & food distribution)

SoldierStrong (Prosthetics)

Somebody's Mama (Women's Empowerment)

Space Available (Space-A) Travel Eligibility

Space-A Travel Registration (Includes DODI reference for eligibility & sign-up form)

State Veteran Benefits


Swords to Plowshare: Shout! For Women Veterans (California)

Take Back the Night

The Mission Continues (Community Volunteerism)

Therapeutic Health Services: Women Veterans Program (Washington)

Thistle Farms

Trafficking Matters (Federal)

Transitional Housing in Communities (At Risk of/Experiencing Homelessness}

TriState Women Veterans (Indiana)

United Farmer Veterans of Maine

United Military Women of the SouthWest

V-WISE: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

VA Center for Women Veterans

VA Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors Handbook, 2016 Edition

Veteran Identification Card/VIC ( issued by VA for all honorably discharged veterans)

Veterans Authority

Veterans Justice Outreach Program (Department of Veterans Affairs)

Veterans Legal Services Initiative (VetLex)

Veterans Legislative Voice

Veterans Passport to Hope (Colorado)

Veterans Treatment Courts Locations

Vietnam Veterans of America Women Veterans Committee

Vietnam Women Veterans, Inc. (non-nursing field)

Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation, Inc. (VWMF)

Wings Across America/WASP on the Web (Aviator)

Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services (WAVES)

Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial

Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) Memorial "We Also Served Member" Registration

Women Marines Association (WMA)

Women Military Aviators, Inc. (WMA)

Women Under Fire

Women Veteran Social Justice

Women Veteran Speakers (Speakers Bureau)

Women Veterans Alliance (California)

Women Veterans Connect, Inc. (WVC)

Women Veterans Housing (Resources for Women with Military Service Experiencing Homelessness or At Risk of Homelessness)

Women Veterans Initiative (Minnesota)

Women Veterans Interactive (WVI)

Women Veterans of New Mexico

Women Veterans ROCK

Women Veterans' Meetups

Women Warriors Roar Blog (Recognizing Service & Life)

Women-Owned Small Businesses (SBA)

Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association

Women's Army Corps Veterans' Association (WACVA)

Women's Health: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Women's Health: Department of Health and Human Services

Women's Health: Department of Veteran's Affairs

Women's Health: Health Resources and Services Administration

Women's Overseas Service League (WOSL)


WWII Flight Nurses Association, Inc.

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