previous arrow
next arrow

Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. It includes any sexual activity where someone is involved against his or her will—he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances. —US Department of Veterans Affairs.

This book is not meant to be the solution to overcome the trauma you’ve endured but more of a facilitator and inspiration for you to seek the help in healing your spirit. I pray this book can show you that there are different paths to healing but that the paths are there. Each of us needs to find the path right for ourselves.

There are many treatments and routes to healing, and I hope you discover the path that works best for you. For family members looking to understand and support their loved ones, please be patient and kind. Judgment and harsh criticism should never be your approach. Some days, you might need only to listen. For me, encouragement and support were the best medicine most of the time. Don’t take it personally when she or he wants space and keeps to himself or herself. We need time to process sometimes because trauma caused by sexual assault is difficult to process.