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New Resource Helps Sexual Assault Patients Understand Options

Health Care Management of Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment
A new brochure, “Sexual Assault Health Care Support for Patients,” is available for download and bulk orders.

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, in support of the Military Health System, released a new resource to help those who experience a sexual assault understand military health options. The easy-to-follow brochure, “Sexual Assault Health Care Support for Patients,” is the result of collaboration and intensive research by various organizations throughout the Defense Department.

The brochure is available to download and health care providers can place bulk orders. It highlights Military Health System and service resources, and outlines:

  • Sexual assault report options
  • Eligibility for care
  • Healthy coping strategies
  • Crisis hotlines

Sexual assault is a serious problem that affects both men and women, and care and reporting options differ depending on duty status and other factors.

“If you’ve been sexually assaulted, you may feel there’s nothing out there that can help you, but the Defense Department has a lot of resources and advocates available,” said Kate McGraw, interim director of the Deployment Health Clinical Center.

Many service members and veterans may not seek care because of privacy concerns, said Dr. Nathan Galbreath, senior executive advisor to the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. However, personal privacy is a priority for mental health care providers.

“Patients can safely see a provider without fear that their visit will hurt their career or expose information they want to keep private,” he said.

A suite of tools to help primary care doctors and other providers deliver optimal care to sexual assault patients will follow the brochure later this year. The tools are designed to also help providers who have no prior experience with sexual assault patients or are unfamiliar with the regulations governing sexual assault in the military, said Dr. Cara Krulewitch, director of women’s health, medical ethics and patient advocacy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

Comments (5)

  • I never received and help when I was 10 years old at Ft. Leavenworth and was attacked, molested, violated by a soldier, prisoner. It changed my life for ever. The Army took my childhood from and then forgot about me. The military didn't provide any help and no financial help through the years. My PTSD is not from attacks in Vietnam or the Middle East, yet the attacks were from within, I really feel the Army owes me, to help me and provide benefits, ect.

    • Bonny, we are so sorry to hear about your life-altering childhood trauma, and we are sorry to hear that you did not receive the help that would have been beneficial. If you are still experiencing emotional distress, please know that help is available. The Defense Department Safeline offers help to those who have experienced military sexual trauma. They are available 24/7 at 877-995-5247.

  • Have been sexually assaulted 4 times

    • Ron, we are sorry to hear that you have experienced multiple sexual assaults. Please reach out for help. The Defense Department Safeline is available 24/7 to offer free confidential support to any one, at any time. Call 877-995-5247.

  • 性的暴行及び性的虐待は女性だけの問題ではない
    (Translation via Google: Sexual assault and sexual abuse is not just a matter of women)

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This page was last updated on: April 18, 2017.