Military Sexual Trauma (MST) refers to sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurs during military service.

After experiencing MST, women may have strong emotions, difficulty with trust and self-esteem, or other problems at work and at home. Recovery from experiences of MST is possible. This page lists different resources that can help you learn more about MST and support you in the process of healing.

Videos | Online Resources | Key Research

New Mobile App: Beyond MST

The Beyond MST app was created for survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). MST is VA’s term for sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred during military service. Veterans of all genders and backgrounds have experienced MST. The app offers information and resources to help survivors cope with challenges related to MST and improve their health, relationships and quality of life.

Learn More About Beyond MST

Download: Apple, Google Play


About Military Sexual Trauma

This short whiteboard video uses hand-drawn animation to help you learn more about MST.

MakeTheConnection – MST videos

The MakeTheConnection website features a series of videos in which Veterans who experienced MST share their stories. Hear how they got on the road to recovery.

Online Resources

Key Research Findings

  • How Common is Military Sexual Trauma?

    A recent survey study conducted by VA researchers examined MST in more than 20,000 Veterans who deployed to OEF/OIF or served elsewhere during the same time period. The survey asked Veterans if they had ever experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault during their service.

    Study Findings (view an infographic describing the study results):

    • 42% of women Veterans and 4% of men Veterans had experienced MST
    • Deployed and non-deployed women Veterans were equally likely to experience MST
    • Among both men and women, Veterans who had been exposed to combat had an even higher risk of MST

    We Conclude:

    • MST affects a large proportion of Veterans, especially women Veterans. Efforts to stop MST and to support those who have experienced MST are needed.


    Barth, S. K., Kimerling, R. E., Pavao, J., McCutcheon, S. J., Batten, S. V., Dursa, E., … Schneiderman, A. I. (2016). Military sexual trauma among recent Veterans: Correlates of sexual assault and sexual harassment. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 50, 77–86. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2015.06.012

  • Unit Support Protects Against Sexual Harassment and Assault

    This study looked at how unit support influenced sexual harassment and sexual assault during deployment among 1,674 (10% women) National Guard service members.

    Study Findings:

    • Women were more likely than men to experience sexual harassment and/or sexual assault
    • 44% of women reported experiencing sexual harassment and 19% reported experiencing sexual assault during their most recent deployment
    • Greater unit support was associated with a lower likelihood of experiencing sexual harassment and/or assault among both men and women

    We Conclude:

    • Unit support is important and may be a potential factor decreasing the odds of experiencing sexual harassment and/or assault.
    • Citation:

    Walsh, K., Galea, S., Cerda, M., Richards, C., Liberzon, I., Tamurrino, M. B., … Koenen, K. C. (2014). Unit support protects against sexual harassment and assault among National Guard Soldiers. Womens Health Issues, 24, 600-604. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2014.05.006