Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment. It includes any sexual activity where someone is involved against their will and/or where have been pressured into sexual activities (for example, with threats of negative consequences for refusing to be sexually cooperative or with implied faster promotions or better treatment in exchange for sex), may have been unable to consent to sexual activities (for example, when intoxicated), or may have been physically forced into sexual activities.

National data from the VA screening program revealed that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men responded that they have experienced MST. Some research suggests that women veterans and active-duty military personnel are more likely than non-veterans to experience domestic violence.


Challenges to Reporting and Seeking Support

  • Feeling isolated and alone
  • Fear of retaliation
  • Lack of trust in systems that are supposed to provide help
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment
  • Denial or minimization of the assault

Campus and Community Resources

  • Confidential DU Resources

    DU Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE)

    Free and confidential advocacy and support for survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment.

    • Business hours phone: 303-871-3853
    • 24/7 Counselor on Call: 303-871-2205
    • Email:
    • Address: 1981 S University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210

    DU Health & Counseling Center

    Confidential medical and mental health services.

    • Phone: 303-871-2205
    • 24/7 Counselor on Call: 303-871-2205
    • Email:
  • Non-Confidential DU Resources
  • Community/National Resources

    The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic

    The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus provides confidential, compassionate, individually-tailored mental health care to post-9/11 veterans, National Guardsmen, Reservists and their family members.

    • 303-724-4255

    National Veterans Crisis Hotline

    • 1-800-273-8255

    National Women Veterans Hotline

    • 1-855-829-6636