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Physical Assault, Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Workplace Violence.

Photo by Schuyler Dugle on Unsplash

I will quickly summarize the definition of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as sexual harassment or/and sexual assault during military service (1, 2, 3).

I am defining physical assault as threatening, unwanted physical attack of any kind. This could be involved in some type of military hazing incident as an example.

According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “Workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site (4).”

I’m tired of reading and hearing Congressional officials, lawyers, the typical uninformed uncaring Veterans Affairs government workers and random people of the internet stating that Personal Assaults such as a Physical Assault or/and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) are NOT reported during military service and thus that’s why there are no records properly documenting the incident(s). This is FALSE.

Yes, it’s true that in an unknown number of cases, Physical Assault(s) & Military Sexual Traumas (MSTs) are not reported. However, I know as a fact that there are service member(s) that have reported these incident(s) to their appropriate chain of command and then magically there are NO records documenting the report(s) years later.

Victim(s)/Survivor(s) may have no idea at the time of the incident(s) that proper reporting procedures, policies, protocol, etc are not being followed. Due to the fact that that victim(s)/survivor(s) are frequently subordinate to the person(s) that they are making the report(s) to, they may have no way of knowing whether or not the correct action(s) are being taken, much less being empowered enough to hold anyone accountable for absolutely anything. Victim(s)/Survivor(s) of MST and/or other physical attacks in the military are frequently junior enlisted service members with limited military experience, making it even less feasible for the victim(s)/survivor(s) to know whether or not proper reporting procedures, policies, protocol, etc. are even being followed.

Specifically, during the years 2008–2011, I know that people did report Physical Assault & Military Sexual Traumas (MSTs) and that appropriate action was NOT taken to include but not limited to creating records documenting the report(s).

I have come to the conclusion that most people do NOT understand this concept or this reality. I have also come to the conclusion that the reason that these reported incident(s) were NOT properly recorded by the person(s) in a position of power to create such documentation is due to self-preservation of career(s). On a side note, this same type of self-preservation focused behavior from management has been exhibited at The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

If no documentation is created, then it is more likely that these incident(s) can be swept underneath the rug, so to speak. It can then appear that no Physical Assault(s), other types of workplace violence or Military Sexual Traumas (MSTs) were actually occurring on the watch of the person(s) in charge. I suspect that this may have been viewed as a deeply advantageous option to protect the career(s) of the person(s) in leadership position(s).

There are people that did report. Unfortunately, the person(s) in charge may have intentionally chosen NOT to create records properly documenting the report(s).

This is what I wish Congressional officials, lawyers, the typical uninformed uncaring Veterans Affairs government workers and random people of the internet would know and would openly discuss because this IS the reality. There are people that did report. Unfortunately, the person(s) in charge may have intentionally chosen NOT to create records properly documenting the report(s).

References

  1. Military Sexual Trauma Signs and its Effects https://www.hillandponton.com/military-sexual-trauma-signs-and-its-effects/
  2. MST PTSD: What Veterans Need to Know! https://www.hillandponton.com/mst-ptsd-what-veterans-need-to-know/
  3. VA Benefits for MST | Military Sexual Trauma VA claim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPsM9lsXCzc
  4. Workplace Violence https://www.osha.gov/workplace-violence#:~:text=Workplace%20violence%20is%20any%20act,%2C%20clients%2C%20customers%20and%20visitors.

Disclaimer:

Included links do NOT imply an endorsement. The information included outside of what is referenced is based upon my personal research, opinion(s) and/or life experience(s). Information included is for informational and/or educational purposes only. This does NOT establish a clinical relationship with anyone. This is NOT legal advice or professional advice of any kind. Please consult with a licensed behavioral health clinician or other relevant professional in your area for personalized assistance with your unique situation. Thank you.

Resources:

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