by James Leathem
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual observance in April to raise public awareness about sexual assault. VA’s SAAM campaign focuses on sexual assault and sexual harassment occurring during military service – also known as military sexual trauma or MST. This year’s theme across VA is Creating Pathways to Healing: VA’s Services for Military Sexual Trauma Survivors.
VA chose this theme to highlight the many ways for Veterans to recover from sexual trauma, as well as the role of VA’s programs and services in helping Veterans find the paths to healing that are right for them. As Ashley Casto, Ph.D., who serves as the MST Coordinator at the Lexington VAMC, explains: “We need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s important to highlight the multitude of holistic and recovery-based treatments that are available through the VA.”