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Week of 9.7.07

Military Sexual Trauma

» Watch Rape in the Military (5.23.08) for an update of this show.

Roughly one in seven of America's active duty military soldiers is a woman, but a NOW investigation found that sexual assault and rape is widespread. One study of National Guard and Reserve forces found that almost one in four women had been assaulted or raped. Last year alone, almost 3,000 soldiers reported sexual assault and rape by other soldiers.

In one of the only national television broadcasts of the issue, NOW features women who speak out for the first time about what happened. One woman recounts her ordeal of rape by her superior officer. Many more don't report the incidents for fear of how it will affect their careers. The shocking phenomenon has a label: military sexual trauma, or MST. NOW meets women courageously battling to overcome their MST, bringing light to an issue that's putting the Army in shame.

A NOW exclusive investigation.

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Related Links

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Military Sexual Trauma Program

A Department of Veteran Affairs report on MST released in 2005, though originally due by March, 2001

National Center for PTSD: Fact Sheet on MST

Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Sexual Harassment and Assault as Predictors of PTSD Symptomatology Among U.S. Female Persian Gulf War Military Personnel [pdf]. Wolfe, Jessica, et al. Feb. 1998.

Chicago Foundation for Women: A Call to Action for the Safety of Women and Girls

ABC News: Pentagon Reports Increase in Sex Assaults as VA Opens New Facility for Women

Topic Search: Iraq War, Defense/Military, Both