Sexual Trauma

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PTSD and marriage. Tech. Sgt. Nadine Barclay/Air Force

Some veterans (women and men) suffered personal assault and/or sexual trauma while serving on active military duty. They might still struggle with fear, anxiety, embarrassment, or profound anger as a result of these experiences. If you suffer from the effects of sexual trauma in the service, VA may be able to help you. The following is a summary of sexual trauma and the compensation for those eligible:

Sexual Trauma Defined

Personal or sexual assault are events of human design that threaten or inflict harm. Sexual trauma is defined as any lingering physical, emotional, or psychological symptoms resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, or battery of a sexual nature. Examples of this are:

  • Rape
  • Physical assault,
  • Domestic Battering, and
  • Stalking

Compensation for Disabilities

Disability Compensation is a monthly payment to a veteran disabled by an injury or a disease incurred or aggravated on active service. The veteran must have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions to be eligible. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Secondary to Sexual Trauma

PTSD is a recurrent emotional reaction to a terrifying, uncontrollable or life-threatening event. The symptoms may develop immediately after the event or may be delayed for years. They include:

  • Sleep disturbances and nightmares,
  • Emotional instability,
  • Feelings of fear and anxiety,
  • Impaired concentration,
  • Flash-backs, and
  • Problems in intimate and other interpersonal relations.

How the Application Process Works

You can apply online at the VA eBenefits website. One of the VA counselors or the Women Veterans Coordinator can assist you.

Counseling Assistance and Other Information

The VA provides free outpatient counseling to victims of military sexual trauma, see the VA Military Sexual Trauma webpage for more information.  

The VA also has a Center for Women Veterans which may be able to provide assistance as well. You can visit their website at www.va.gov/womenvet or call 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636). 

For More Information Call Toll-Free 800-827-1000.

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