Belle Glade Sun

VA to recognize survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

WEST PALM BEACH — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is joining forces with veterans to recognize those affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST) with this year’s Clothesline Project to be held on Thursday, April 5 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center, First Floor Atrium, 7305 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach. This year’s theme is “Speaking Up, Moving Forward: VA Supports Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma.”

Over the last six years West Palm Beach VAMC has held a Clothesline Project T-Shirt/Art Making Project to reflect survivors’ experiences of sexual trauma and recovery during SAAM. Shirts made by male and female survivors are hung side by side during the event resulting in a powerful display of art and heightened social awareness. Also during the event survivors, other veterans, and visitors are educated on the common reactions to trauma which can happen even many years later.

One in four female veterans and one in 100 male veterans have told their VA healthcare provider that they experienced MST while serving in the military. For years, the VA has used the SAAM/MST Clothesline Project to bring public attention to this issue; provide education; and let other military veterans and service members who are survivors of MST know they are not alone.

For media queries or advance information contact Kenita Gordon, Public Affairs Officer, at 561-422-8607 or Kenita.Gordon@va.gov.