Survivors of sexual assault will often find themselves bewildered by their own response to such trauma whether it be days or years later. Lives are forever changed, careers are cut short, relationships are few, and the ability to trust continues to evolve over time.
For years, Dr. Bridget Cantrell has counseled many service members who have been sexually abused or harassed while serving in the military. It was in their stories that she saw how there was little being done to prosecute perpetrators, let alone take the survivors at their word about what had occurred. This creates injury upon injury, a kindling affect, eventually taking up an entire room.
Dr. Cantrell has worked with government and military leaders including United States Senator from Washington State, Patty Murray, to advance a bill to curtail military sexual assault by offering more support to survivors and explicitly prohibiting certain unethical behavior.
She has also contributed to an independent film documentary entitled, “SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home,” that portrays several women veterans transitioning from active duty to their civilian lives. The topic of military sexual trauma (MST) is addressed and facts laid out for all to see and better understand the challenges our service members and their loved ones face as they journey home after this type of assault.
MST is an issue that has been going on for decades and leaves the survivors with some serious repercussions. The more knowledge we have, the more empowered we are to stand up against this despicable behavior and the better prepared we are to move forward and offer support and guidance with reporting and prosecution. MST is clearly found in both males and females, and it continues to unfold and be revealed, leading to changes in policy and procedures to protect those who serve our country.
Do you need to speak with Dr Cantrell regarding your own experiences or can your organization benefit from a presentation or workshop on the topic? Please contact her and find out more about your options.