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Sexual Assault Recovery and Treatment

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month social media graphic featuring the DoD Safe Helpline and a dark teal ribbon.

The traumatic effect of sexual assault can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be never-ending. DOD and many non-profit and medical organizations offer clinical and counseling resources to help victims recover. Support from family, friends, and community can help anyone affected by sexual assault begin their healing journey, starting with listening to and supporting individuals affected by sexual assault.

Messages for communicators

  • DOD can connect you to skilled, certified professionals who can help you report a sexual assault or access resources on your installation or a just phone call or click away.
    • These include Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocates (SAPR VAs). 
    • You can access your local resources by contacting the DOD Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247.
  • Anyone affected by sexual assault has the option to seek treatment at their local emergency room or from their primary physician.
  • Sexual assault is not the fault of the victim – they did not seek it out or encourage the person who assaulted them.
  • Healing from the effects of sexual assault is different for every individual. Even if an assault happened long ago, you can still access available resources.
  • Sexual trauma can be physically and emotionally harmful :
    • Self-harming behavior, including suicidal ideation – anyone experiencing suicidal ideation can call the Veterans Crisis Line/hotline at 800-273-8255
    • Anxiety and depression
    • Increased risk of developing negative coping strategies (e.g. poor diet, lack of physical activity, lack of interest in basic hygiene, alcohol or drug use)
    • Changes in mood
    • Withdrawal or self-isolation behavior
    • Poor sleep 
    • Diminished performance at work, including decreased productivity and increased tardiness or absenteeism 
    • Doubts about purpose, meaning, the existence of good, disbelief in higher power they previously held

Recovery from sexual trauma is a possible without medical and clinical intervention, but professional medical treatment and counseling can positively enhance the healing journey for anyone affected by sexual assault. 


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TRICARE Sexual Assault Treatment Program TRICARE is offering confidential, intensive treatment for active duty survivors of sexual trauma. Are you an active duty service member who has experienced sexual trauma?

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