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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2023 09:57 AM
From: Senator Katie J. Muth and Sen. Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Recognizing Military Sexual Trauma Awareness Day
In the near future, we plan to introduce a Senate Bill that will designate November 9 of each year as Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Awareness Day in Pennsylvania.

While we have previously introduced Senate Resolutions designating Military Sexual Trauma Survivor Month and Week, this bill will establish an annual day of recognition and awareness to honor the strength, resolve, and perseverance of military sexual trauma (MST) survivors and work urgently to end sexual violence in the military and throughout this Commonwealth. 

According to VA statistics,1 in 3 women and 1 in 50 men report that they experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault during military service when asked by their VA health care provider. Anyone in the military can experience MST, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical abilities or branch of service. MST can occur at any time or place during military service — while on or off duty and on or off base. The psychological impact of the assault and resulting trauma can push survivors out of the service and lead to tremendous difficulty readjusting to their civilian lives. 

As with other types of trauma, people can react to MST in many different ways. Although MST can be a life-changing experience, survivors are remarkably resilient. Some recover on their own. For many, however, the experience of MST continues to affect their mental and physical health, work, relationships or everyday life — sometimes years after the experience.

We must recognize the survivors of MST and raise awareness for the resources available to help them heal. Please join us in cosponsoring this resolution to support all survivors of MST.

Introduced as SB924