Military Sexual Trauma
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the veteran was in the military. MST is gender neutral. There are significant numbers of men and women seen in the VA that have experienced MST. We provide information and links for all veterans dealing with MST here. This page addresses female-specific health and benefits resources.
Hotline to Answer Questions on VA Health Care and Benefits for Women Veterans
It is important to understand that MST is an experience, not a mental health diagnosis. MST can cause disabling conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and sexual arousal disorder (SAD). Every Veteran Benefits Administration Regional Office is required to appoint a Women Veteran Coordinator (WVCs) to help you file a claim for compensation related to MST or other conditions, injuries, or diseases you incurred while on active duty.
You can reach a WVC through the VA's general information hotline at 1-800-827-1000.
You can also use our How to File a Well-Prepared MST Claim guide to file your claim.
October 2015 update: The Department of Veterans Affairs has established an MST Coordinator position at each of its Regional Benefit Offices. Each office has designated one male and one female MST Coordinator to assist Veterans filing disability claims related to MST. Go here for the state-by-state VA listing, including email contact information.
Your MST-related health care is free. Getting treatment for MST is an important step towards healing and recovery. You do not need to have a VA disability rating or be getting VA disability compensation to receive these services. You may be able to get MST-related health services even if you are not eligible for other VA health care. You also do not need to have reported the incident(s) when they happened or have other documentation that they occurred. Gender-specific care is available for anyone who has experienced MST; you can request a female or male provider. VHA is obligated to make every effort to accommodate this request.
Every Veterans Health Administration Medical Center is required to appoint a Women Veteran Program Manager (WVPM). Your WVPM can help you identify MST treatment, as well as facilitate other health care you may be eligible for. WVPMs are available to coordinate your comprehensive healthcare, including finding primary and gender-specific care providers that you are comfortable with. Call your local facility to reach your WVPM. If you have questions about your VA care, consider contacting your WVPM. During normal business hours, you can also call:
- The Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans at (202) 273-6193.
- The Veterans Health Administration Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group at (202) 461-1070.
MST/Sexual Trauma Treatment Programs (Includes Women-Only Treatment Programs)
These are programs that focus on MST or sexual trauma. This list includes all women-only treatment programs as of February 2013. You can discuss these programs - your eligibility, the referral process and what expenses are covered - with your Women Veterans Program Manager. (Travel will be covered.)
Boston, MA (Brockton)
Women’s Integrated Treatment & Recovery Program
Boston, MA (Jamaica Plain)
Women Veterans’ Therapeutic Transitional Residence Program (TRUST House)
Women Veterans’ Residential Program
Women’s Treatment Unit
Specialized Inpatient PTSD Treatment Program for Women Veterans
VISN 8: ;
Bay Pines, FL
Center for Sexual Trauma Services
Women’s Residential PTSD Program
Women’s Inpatient Specialty Environment of Recovery (WISER)
Trauma Recovery Treatment Center
Residential PTSD Program for Women
Menlo Park, CA
Women’s Trauma Recovery Program
Long Beach, CA
RENEW: Women's Trauma Recovery Program (NOTE: housing is with local U.S. VETS program, through the VA’s Grants and Per Diem Program)
West Los Angeles, CA
Outpatient Women’s Clinic in conjunction with Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program (Women’s L.I.F.E. Program)
April 2013; updated January 2018