MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA 15
MilitarySexual TraumaChapterOne: IntroductionIntroduction
Accordingto the Department of Defense (DOD, 2016), sexual assault has beenreportedin high instances over the recent years. More than 6,083 rapecases have beenreportedinvolving service members. The effects of have resulted in surveys indicating the risk of over 16,000 servicemembers haslived with thepotential for sexual assault. Whereas, Army Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, director of the DefenseSexual Assault Prevention and Response Office concluded, militarypersonnel must report sexual abuseto establish the necessary care and support to the survivors. (U.S.Department of Defense, 2016, para 3). Those who victimize militarypersonnel must be held accountable and well toface the consequences. Military active duty, retired, and veteranfemales have always been considered the “silent warrior.” Livingwith the effects of unreported and reported daily, while coping with everyday life has made them even stronger.
Burns,B., Grindlay, K., Holt, K., Manski, R., & Grossman, D. (2014)agree that the Department of Defense reported 3374 Military SexualTrauma case in 2012 however, there remains an estimate of 26000active duty members experiencing unwanted sexual contact. The numberof the unreportedcase remains relatively small,yetthereported case continues to be affected with the reminder that changestheir lifestyle.
Therefore,there is a need for an understanding of the experience that femalemilitary personnel have with the cases of sexual assault. Through thecomprehension of sexual trauma, one will discern on whatever measuresare necessary to stabilize their adaptation into the society.
Militarypersonnel goesthroughvarioustribulations after their service, or upon their return to thecountry. The manner in which the servicemenbond with the community is instrumental in determining theirsubsequent adoption into the society. Military sexual trauma is amongthe primary factors, which face the soldiersand veterans. Through the sexual trauma, it is tough for the membersof the armed forces to interact with the other regularcitizen in an easier manner. Thus, through these activities ofcertain malicious persons, the military individuals tend to have asexual assault tendency where they are targets of victimization bycertain people.The sexual trauma affects the military men in a certain way whichmakes it difficult to discern whatever action should be taken toestablish the core of the activity. Therefore, the study dwells onthe military sexual assaults and trauma which haunt the servicemen tothe extent thatmakes it tough for them to interact with anotherindividualwithin the community. Thus, the research looks into the militarysexual trauma and different ways in which it affects the servicemenand veterans with ways of solving the problems that take place intheir everyday lives.
Backgroundof the Problem
Militarysexual trauma is a word commonly infers to the different experiencesthat a soldier has in their active sessions. Asoldier, during their busy periods, in some instances experiencesthreatening sexual actions and harassments (Frayneetal., 1999).The sexual harassments include sexual activities that are conductedagainst a person’s will and at sometimes the rape incidences thatthey experience. Sexual assault,in this case,can come in place as a physical force, favoritism promises andintoxication of members to ensure that they toe to the demands oftheir aggressor. Unwanted sexual contact,as well as offensive remarks appertaining to a person’s sexuality,isfactors which are contributory to rape(Rowe,et al., 2009).Thusthey are widelyclassified as rape.In the contemporary United States society, there are certain actionswhich are undertaken to ensure that the decisionsof the onlyveterans are well correspondent to the model community(Kelly,Skelton, Patel, & Bradley, 2011).After serving their period in the military, the veterans’ healthadministration ensure that they take care of the individual`sveterans needs in a way that would ameliorate their inclinationtowards realizing the existence of MST within the victims. Therefore,it isroutinefor the VHA to ensure that they carry out regularcheckups for the individuals who retire fromthearmy.
Notably,Military sexual trauma is among the most pressingissues faced bythe United States armed forces within the periods that they servetheir times in the military. The numbers of the people that areaffected by the incidence are highas they also increase provided the occurrencesthat take place within their communities too. For instance, in theyear 2016, the number of men who suffered from the problem was10,600, while women who suffered from the problem were 9,600 women.Theaspect showsthat a high percentage of peopleare assaulted when in their service within the military. On the otherhand, in 2012, there were 13,900 men against 12, 100 women whoreported the attack.These numbers show that there isa greater likelihood for a male serviceman to undergo sexual assaultcompared to their female counterparts. Therefore, the malesare in a greater danger compared to their female counterparts ofsuffering from MST. Despite the high numbers of individuals who cometo report the incidences, there are an estimated 77% of the casesthat arenot declaredinthe instance that they take place. Over the recent years, the UnitedStates military culture has been under question by specific militarymembersof the armed forceswho underwent the incidence. Through the creation of a lawsuit tolook into the issues that affect the entire society, the militaryservicemen decided to look into it why there are a large number ofindividuals who suffer from sexual assault within the forces in arepeated manner. Therefore, the military ischargedwith the responsibility oftaking charge of the situations and ensuring thatthey regard whatever happens.The lawsuit revealed that a great percentage of the individuals whoperpetrate the sexual assault within the society are males who knewtheir victims well. The juniors in military ranks were most of thevictims (Surís& Lind, 2008).
Themodern military acceptsthe reports which aremadeon the sexual assault incidences. The UnitedStates Armyhas incepted different ways of ensuring that there are restricted andunrestricted reporting of the ratesas they take place. The controlledsystem allows the victims to keep their privacy without beingrevealed as they provide their cases and undergo counselingin a way that would impact on their general appeal to the military.The unrestricted reportingis conductedby individuals who would want to make known whatever took place tothem and in most cases would want a criminal charge pushed againstthe perpetrators of their rape. These show that there are evengreater instances of MST victims going for the restricted model tohelp keep their identity and treatment indiscretion(Himmelfarb,Yaeger, & Mintz, 2006).On the other hand, the limitedmodel is an act to assistin determiningthe perfect way of helping the survivors as well as increasing theaccuracy of information received by the authorities. Therestrictedmodel also helpsin the creation of a way that would reduce the social consequences ofreporting to the victims. Authorities do not indicate theperpetrators in this kind of newsas well as they do not investigate whatever took place in the story.However, they help in the provision of care and support to thevictims of sexual assault through the VHA.
Fearof stigma is a primary issue that most of the servicemen reportedlyfear. The soldiersin most instances do notwantto beassociatedwith others as victims of sexual assault as well as the retaliation.Thesecasesincrease the difficulty that people have to report the cases. In acase where the aggressor is a senior, the prey will fear retaliationand whatever view he/she would get in the presence of the otherservice members. These instances show that military sexual assaultoccurs in ways that affect the metal being of a person. When soldiersfail to report the incidence, chances of a repeating of the offenseon them increases. However,others keep their reputations hence do not get into the reportingaspect. The fear of stigmatization and labelingamong the peers as sickindividualsmakes it easier for the victims to shy away from reporting suchsordid incidences to the authorities to ensure that they have theappropriatemeans of ensuring justice prevailstothem. Therefore, reporting is asignificantburden when addressing MST due to the fear that most of the victimshave, and the position of most perpetrators within the forces.
Themilitary is a platform where individuals carry out differentactivities to protect their country.Thus,they getprominentpositions within the community. However, when there are incidencessuch as sexual assault, the victims are subjects to mentalexamination to help unravel if there are normal. In cases where aperson does not pass the psychologicaltest, they gainadishonorable discharge,and at the timethey are sent home for making false allegations. These interventionsincrease the rates of not reporting for the cases that take placewithin the military. Through these interventions,it is possible that there are different issues which help in makingthe sexual assaults prevalent within the military. The silent messagethat soldiers receive whenever a fellow isdischargedfor reporting that they should keep quiet and deal with the differentissues makes it easier for the manyperpetrators of sexual violence to act in a way that they deserve.
Despitehaving a good reporting culture, some membersof the armed forceswho report and do not get the deserved solutions in most cases end upbeinglaid offfrom the service due to increase in negativity between them and theadministration of the stations where they serve. Notably, there isearmarking of the reporters by certain malicious individuals whoensure that they are later on harassed and have undesirable shiftassignments. These tasksare hard in most cases,and the personturns out as unproductive to the forces. Therefore, the reporting ofsexual assaultwithin the militaryisgreatly shunnedby individualswho hold greater ranks. Moreover, the victims live with hopelessnessafter such incidences,and they end up having a negative track record, making it appropriatefor them to get out of the army and carry out certain activities(Turchiket al., 2013).Therefore, the military isconsideredas an area where several activities encourage the harassment andassault of certain individuals without the consideration andadministration of just regulations. Thus, the factors amount to asignificantinstance of shame and reservation of adverseactions within the armed forces. MST thus remains agreatexampleofthe society that affects the servicemen and makes them have anegative perception on reporting, as well as havedifficulty inseeking justice for themselves as the experience would come to hauntthem in the long-run.
TheoreticalSupport forthe Study
Differentscholars have taken a study to determine the variousways in which MST affect the individual and how it is prevalentwithin the population. The studies look at how the severalveterans and military personnel live with such conditions and how itaffects their daily activities and interactions within the society.Through these instances,it is notable that there are certain actions which can beachievedin the appropriatemanner.
Accordingto Saris and Lind (2008), MST depends on different factors within themilitary entity. There are predisposition factors to MST that make anindividual inclined to being a victim or a perpetrator. The authorsstate that there are certain issues within the discussion of MST thatshould betakeninto consideration such as the enlisted rank, age and the negativehome lives of the soldiers (Haskellet al., 2010).These factors, when taken into accountwill bring up a better model of looking at the issues that affect themilitary personnel and a path toward the realization of solutions forthe victims. On the other hand, previous assault histories should becheckedfor both the assaulters and the victims. The authors lead the studyinto determining some of the ways in which the veterans live afterthey have undergone such issues duringtheir service period. Most of the individuals who experienceMST come up with differentinterventionsto help them carry out anordinarylife this has seen a rise in the number of peoplewith depressions and an ardent culture of alcohol abuse among theveterans. These factors have enhanced the manner in which thesepeoplequicklyface post-traumatic stress disorders, and having impaired healthstatuses due to the depression that they undergo. These factorsamount to an overall depreciation in the normalcy of the veteran asthey will keep to themselves to help maintain aregularstatus of living.
Accordingto Haskell et al. (2010),there are different variations between the genders when it comes toexperiencing instances of MST. There is a higher rate of MST amongthe females within the military,and the effects are prevalent more in the females compared to themales. These signs show that the female members of the military are asoft spot for activities that would pass for sexual assault. On theother hand, the male counterparts in most cases never haveincidences of sexual assault despite their large number within themilitary. The sexual assault victims, more so the females underwentdifferent signs that weremanifestedincluding esteem issues and hopelessness within their course of work.The authors notably advocate for a better way to carry out activitiesthat would enhance the creation of better services for the militarypersonnel who suffer from MST and other conditions that they accruein the course of their service in the military (Street& Stafford, 2004).
Kimerlinget al. (2007) evaluate the different methods that the VHA utilize toensure that they discern the symptoms of MST within the militaryindividuals. The authors take a keen look into the variousinterventions which are usedin the contemporary medicinal society to ensure that the veterans areaccessed in an appropriate manner to aid in the realizationof such activities within the population. The VHA instrumentallycarries out an important job in the determination of the differentissues that affect the veterans in the society (O`Brien,et al., 2008).Thus, through the research, the military healthcareservices are best suited to handle issues that affect the differentindividuals who are affected by a myriad of conditions when they comefrom attending to their service periods in the military.
Valente& Wight (2007) state that there certain issues which trigger asexual assault within the armysettings. According to the authors, the sexual assault within themilitarysettings takesplace due to the forced sexual activities by intimate partners andpersonnel. Certainissues comeup after an individual has undergone a case of psychological andphysical symptoms that affect the different victims of sexual assault(Maguen,et al., 2012 Smith et al., 2011).However, despite the efforts of the clinicians who have the duty tohandle case within the military personnel, there is a high likelihoodthat they will not manage to realize 95% of the cases that takeplaces (Yaeger,et al., 2006).The authors also notice that the victims of abuse often experiencenegativity in their lives after the incidence, whereby they lose theattitude they have toward living an optimistic life. Through theissues that they undergo, an individual becomes susceptible tocertain conditions that make them vulnerable tothese circumstances.Theauthors, therefore, propose that for an individual to be rescued fromsuch cycles of suffering, they should be identified early. Theclinicians, therefore, have the mandate of studying whatever takesplace within the military levels and discern interventions that wouldbe of great assistance to the individual members who have undergonesexual assault (Hoyt,Klosterman Rielage, & Williams, 2011).Througha keen association of the different members of the VHA, there wouldbe an efficient manner of carrying out duties. The plan would impacton the creation of value for the clinicians and at the same timebring changes to those that have been affected, by giving them apositive life (Hoyt,Klosterman Rielage, & Williams, 2011).
Thestudy makes certain assumptions to ensure that they are in the rightway towards creating a perfect study within the veteran population.The main assumption that is made by the surveyis that the military personnel are aware of whatever MST is and haveexamples of such occurrences within their period of service in themilitary (Lettered,Bittinger, & Simpson, 2011).
Thestudy primarily focuses on the military personnel and other veterans.The study will carry out investigations on those who are still activeonduty and others who are onactive duty.
Themain limitation that the surveyis facing is the possibility that asignificantnumber of the veterans and the military personnel will decide to keepthe information that they have to themselves and never releasewhatever they know ion the issue. Nonetheless, another limitation Ithe time required to access the different problemsthat affect the individual personnel within the society. Thus, theinstance makes it difficult to address the MST occurrence within thecommunity.
Thestudy takes a qualitative approach totackling the prevalence of MST among the veterans. The studyeffectively applies the use of questionnaires and interviews within asample population to determine the different issues within thepopulation.
MST-a militarysexual trauma which isexperiencedby personnel who serve in the armydue to assault or offensive words in the course of their service inthe military (Mattockset al., 2012).
VHA-veteran’s health administration, a body which takes care of thehealth requirements of the different individual military personnelthat suffersfrom certain conditions (Kimerling,et al., 2007).
Theresearch has a primary question that seeks to access the effect ofMST within the population of the servicemen. The research question,therefore,is what theimpact of MST within the population of military personnel is?And what are the various symptoms that the condition showson the servicemen?
Significanceof the Study
Theresearch stands the greater advantage of making the societyunderstand the occurrence of MST and ensurethatthere are no instances of misinterpretation within the community.Nonetheless, the study will also help incept a better way of makingthe singlemilitary men and women adaptto the society in a better way.
Thestudy concentrates on the instance of MST within the armypersonnel. Moreover, the research takes a look at some of theexamplesthat make it easier to identify the victims and how they can bequickly dealt with.Through bringingin a better intervention at tackling the defects of sexual assault inthe military, the study will provide a recommendation bythe results that areproduced.Furthermore, the study also looks at literature fromprevious researchin the same field.
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