Veterans Health Programs

Sexual Trauma

Military law defines sexual trauma as sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and other acts of sexual violence. Some servicemembers may experience sexual trauma while on active duty and may then develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders and other psychological problems over their lifetimes. Symptoms of sexual trauma include:  

  • Feelings that something is missing or not right
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Random health problems
  • Relationship issues
  • Avoidance of places or objects that elicit memories of the traumatic incident
  • Constant thoughts of the incident 

VA health care professionals can help veterans who have experienced sexual trauma through evaluation, education and psychotherapy. Victims of sexual trauma may be eligible for disability compensation. To seek help or get more information, contact the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator or Women Veterans Program Manager at your nearest VA facility, or call the VA toll free at 1-800-827-1000.

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