Butler VA Health Care System
Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the VA uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. MST includes any sexual activity where someone is involved against his or her will – he or she may have been pressured into sexual activities, may have been unable to consent to sexual activities, or may have been physically forced into sexual activities. Other experiences that fall into the category of MST include unwanted sexual touching or grabbing; threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and/or threatening or unwelcome sexual advances.
While MST can be a very difficult experience, recovery is possible. Treatment can help improve quality of life by focusing on strategies for managing emotions and memories or, for Veterans who are ready, involve actually talking about their MST experiences in depth.
VA has almost two dozen programs nationwide that offer specialized MST treatment in a residential or inpatient setting. These programs are for Veterans who need more intense treatment and support. Because some Veterans do not feel comfortable in mixed-gender treatment settings, some facilities have separate programs for men and women. All residential and inpatient MST programs have separate sleeping areas for men and women. VA Butler Healthcare offers several types of treatment, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will be available soon.
For more information, Veterans can contact the Butler VA's MST Coordinator Amber Portik at 878.271.6268 or Amber.Portik@va.gov. Veterans can also call VA’s general information hotline at 1-800-827-1000.
Butler VA Health Care Center
353 North Duffy Road, Butler PA
- 800-362-8262 Ext. 6268
- 800-362-8262 Ext. 6124
Hours of Operation
- 8:00am - 4:30pm