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Our missiom is to provide healing and to empower and to strengthen our all American "Sheroes" that have been oppressed by military sexual trauma. (MST). Our desire is to see our "Sheroes" overcome MST and embrace a newfound freedom and an improved quality of life. We want to arm clinical providers in the community with new and unique therapeutic approach. With this design we are committed to educate and to train the military, and clinicians to heal military sexual trauma amongst our truamatized military and veteran women.
Scenario: A woman veteran who was in the U.S. Navy had been brutally raped at gunpoint by a superior officer. Left with 2 black eyes and a broken nose she reported the superior officer to the Commanding Officer of the Naval Base. The Commanding Officer accusingly asked her "What did she do to provoke the superior officer?" and asked "what were you wearing?"
Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is occurring at an epidemic rate to our country’s women Veterans, the effects of which are devastating and pervasive. Efforts have been made towards raising awareness, providing advocacy, improving prevention, and changing the laws to prosecute the perpetrators. However, very little has been done for treatment. Current treatments are available to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. But there are no widely disseminated programs, to our awareness, that treat the total impact of sexual trauma for women Veterans. There is a tremendous gap in services as untreated trauma has been associated with homelessness, medical symptoms, relationship problems, substance abuse, and suicide. Given the prevalence of sexual trauma, there is a dire need to work on providing treatment to these women Veterans. Hence, a group of committed dynamic women have come together to create and disseminate the Arise and Shine" program to help women Veterans recover, thrive and live a life of quality after sexual trauma. Arise and Shine is a therapeutic program carefully crafted to bring participants through a transformational experience from trauma to freedom
From the commander-in chief to military to top military leaders to members of both parties in Congress to veterans and those who support veterans are all outraged of the growing number of sexual assaults in the United States military and are ready to combat this critical issue. In May, 2013, President Obama signed a bill to mandate the Department of Defense and the Veteran Affairs Administration to change their policies on Military Sexual Trauma. Also in May of 2013 the Pentagon reported that in 2011, there were 19,300 cases of service members who experienced sexual assault and 26,000 in 2012 (H.A.S.C. 2013) who knows how many cases are going unreported. President Obama expressed his support of the Department of Defense Task Force’s recommendation to the Secretary of Defense to include in its new budget a separate line of funding to allocate for services such as the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SARP) to achieve its mission of prevention, response, training and accountability (U.S. GPO, 2012). Arise and Shine can be one of those training and response programs that will need funding to provide assistance to the 'Sheores'.
- Linda Miles
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