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    ‘Never the Same’: Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma Turn to The Pink Berets for Healing

    ‘Never the Same’: Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma Turn to The Pink Berets for Healing

    Stephanie Gattas enlisted in the Navy at 18, excited to serve her country.

    Eight years later, the young woman returned home to Texas, angry, combative and haunted after enduring sexual harassment and a sexual assault.

    The perpetrators were her fellow sailors — some of whom held leadership roles.

    Driven by her personal experience, Gattas in 2015 founded The Pink Berets, a nonprofit that helps women soldiers and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as mental and emotional trauma.

    Sexual assault and harassment in the is a chronic problem that often leads to lasting mental and physical issues for survivors. While the Department of Defense is taking steps to address the issue, support programs like The Pink Berets fill a crucial gap in serving soldiers and veterans searching for ways to heal.

    Most of the women who have sought help from The Pink Berets are survivors of military sexual trauma, which involves any experience of sexual assault or harassment by a soldier during their time of military service, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Medical data from the VA indicates the trauma can lead to , depression and other mood and substance use disorders.

    More than 1 million outpatient visits took place at the VA for military sexual trauma related care in 2017, according to data compiled by Protect Our Defenders, a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing rape and sexual…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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