Women who join the US Armed Forces are being raped and sexually assaulted by their colleagues in record numbers. An estimated 20,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place last year and only 6,236 victims reported their attacks. The violence of the rape and the ensuing emotional trauma are compounded by the futility of reporting the attacks to their commands.
The effects of Military Sexual Trauma, (MST), include depression, substance abuse, paranoia and feelings of isolation. Victims spend years drowning in shame and fear as the psychological damage silently eats away at their lives: many frequently end up addicted to drugs and alcohol, homeless or take their own lives.