It is normal for people to experience stress responses after traumatic events, including war and combat, acts of terrorism and natural disasters, or violence, such as rape or sexual abuse. Service members are not the only ones who experience trauma, of course, but evidence suggests that certain types of trauma are more prevalent among those who have served than the general public.
For many years, the veteran community and its advocates have been on the forefront of a paradigm shift toward a greater understanding and awareness of health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma (MST) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
It is now widely known that not all wounds are physical, or visible. Fortunately, they can still be treated. If you, or a loved on, are struggling with the effects of a trauma such as PTSD, MST or TBI, know that you are not on your own. We want to help.
Explore below for information about the types of trauma that have been experienced by veterans and active-duty service members, as well as resources that are available to help you and your families.
Resources and Information
Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
According to the VA, 1 in 3
women and 1 in 8 men experience some form of sexual assault, harassment or rape
on active duty, and according to the Oregon Women’s Health Study, 59% of
Oregon women veterans surveyed stated they experienced some form of sexual
assault (including harassment) while on active duty. Further, some research
suggests those identifying as LGBTQ are disproportionately exposed to military
If you experienced any form
of sexual assault, harassment, rape, or domestic violence while on active duty
and still suffer mental or physical health problems today, you are eligible to
receive counseling and services at the VA, regardless of discharge status, time
in service, or disability status. You may also be eligible for
service-connected disability benefits as a result of these experiences.
If you have not filed for benefits or you filed and were denied and would like to learn more about the changed rules regarding filing for these benefits, please contact your local VSO or the Oregon Women Veterans Coordinator.
Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
VA Services for Military Sexual Trauma
MST and IPV Coordinators:
Guy Tyler, LCSW
(360) 696-4061 x31591
Aysha Crain, LCSW
Tamera Dreier, MSW, LCSW
(541) 440-1000 x45199
Brynne Johannsen, PhD
(541) 826-2111 x3046
Jennifer Oetman, LICSW
(509) 525-5200 x26976
Wendy Coffman, LCSW, LMFT
(208) 422-1000 x4201
1-877-WAR VETS (1.877.927.8387) is an around the clock confidential call center where combat Veterans and their families can call to talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in their readjustment to civilian life. The staff is comprised of combat Veterans from several eras as well as family members of combat Veterans. The service is free for combat Veterans and their families so they may find resources they need at their nearest Vet Center.
For more information: visit
the Federal VA: Vet Centers webpage or call 1-877-WAR VETS.
Services provided at Vet Centers include
bereavement and readjustment counseling to individuals, groups, couples, and
If you served in a combat zone and received a
campaign ribbon, you and your family are eligible for Vet Center services.
In addition, parents, siblings, spouses and children of any active duty
service member who dies while on active duty are eligible for bereavement
For more information: Find a Vet Center or visit the Federal VA: Vet Centers webpage
The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in
crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of
Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online
chat, or text.
Veterans and their loved ones can call
1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to
receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.
For more information: Federal VA: Veterans Crisis
Line or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1