Your Story

At some point, you will have to come up with evidence to support your MST claim. Writing your story will help you remember the details. Talk to your MST Coordinator about how to approach this.  No one else will read it without your permission. It is private. It is going to trigger you. You will be facing MST all over again. It will make you start remembering things.  Parts of your story will help you write your VA Statement for your Claim.

Read how MST has affected you and these pages: M&F–Q&A-Thoughts- Feelings-Reasoning-Reactions-Common Misconceptions.  Here are examples of “Rape Victims’ Stories ” You will see you’re not alone. It is totally up to you if you want to share it anywhere. 

How to start: Write a memory next to every marker below. Your experience will begin to develop.  Include who what why where when and how.  Don’t forget to talk about who you were before and after the MST took place.   Be honest and do not write anything that is not truthful.

The VA looks for these markers if you are making a claim for a disability related to MST.

Records from official sources. Did you make contact with anyone?

  • Current diagnosis from a medical provider for PTSD
  • Law enforcement
  • Rape crisis centers
  • Mental health counseling centers
  • Sick Call
  • Medical Records
  • Hospitals
  • Physicians
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Tests for sexually transmitted diseases or inflicted with one
  • Did you become disabled to perform your duty
  • What parts of your body were changed because of MST
  • Were you beaten, cut, or received a traumatic injury

Statements to or from others.  Did you tell anyone else?

  • Family members
  • Roommates
  • Clergy members
  •  Fellow Service members
  • Counselors
  • Journals or diaries that you kept at the time of the trauma.
  • Are there any texts or comments on social media, blogs, or forums

Other Markers

  • Were you forced into an unwanted transfer
  • Did you request to be transferred
  • Decrease in work performance
  • Substance abuse
  • Did you get into a fight, have outbursts, go into seclusion, always angry, and anything out of the ordinary
  • Were you arrested for or punished for anything caused by the MST
  • Give information about the  location or people nearby
  • Did you leave anything where you were raped 

Episodes of the following without clear cause:

  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Unexplained behavior (economic or social)
  • Relationship issues like divorce
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Wanting a gender change

Other factors about rape

  • Sexual assault must be done without the victim’s consent and by means of force, coercion, fraud, or threats
  • Victims’ promiscuity is not a defense
  • Sexual activity prior to the rape was consensual and is not a defense
  • The victim was unable to give consent due to a mental or physical disorder or disability, too intoxicated to consent, or not conscious enough to understand the nature of the act 
  • Corroborating evidence including cell phone emails, texts, social media posts, instant messaging records
  • Establish elements of force, threat, or fear
  • Document the specific details of the allegation all the way down to condom use
  • DNA evidence that is unique to the defendant
  • Write down the tone of voice and action during the rape
  • Details about how the rape took place
  • Evidence of the reputation of the accused for sexual morality 
  • Evidence phone records or location data establishes that the incident didn’t occur where the suspect was
  • Does the rapist have a criminal record

The VA is NOT permitted to consider if an individual reported the incident at the time it took place. Instead, the VA looks for markers to show if you suffered from trauma around the time frame the event occurred. Markers can be found through documentation or through first-hand accounts by others. 

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