TULSA - The Veterans Administration estimates that one in 100 service men experienced what they call "Military Sexual Trauma," or MST, but the truly alarming number involves female veterans.
The number of service women who suffered MST is estimated at one in four, and while the Department of Defense is trying to deal with the problem, its up to organizations like the Oklahoma Disabled American Veterans to deal with finding a way to help the victims.
Oklahoma DAV Adjutant Danny Oliver tells KRMG the organization is holding special training for service officers August 21st, as they work to "create a listening environment whereby (the service officers) can put MST victims at ease and better assist them in receiving treatment and benefits."
Oliver says the trauma of MST is all too real, and often hidden by veterans who for a number of reasons, don't report the abuse or seek help with its aftereffects.
"We talk about the hidden wounds of war. Well, the hidden wounds of service with military sexual trauma is the same," Oliver told KRMG. "(MST) is an injury, it's no different than if you fell out of the back of a truck during a training exercise or you were shot."
He points out that MST doesn't only result from actual physical abuse, it's also caused by repeated, threatening sexual harrassment, often by a superior.
Oliver says his organization decided to publicize the MST training in an effort to let veterans who are victims know that help is available, and more is on the way.
OKDAV offers free help to veterans and their families, ranging from medical and psychological care, to transportation, chaplain services, and much more.