Women who join the U.S. Armed Forces are being raped and sexually assaulted by their colleagues in record numbers. According to the Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault and Prevention that was released on May 2, 2019, sexual assaults rose 38%, from 14,900 in 2016 to 20,500 in 2018. 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.