This month is sexual assault awareness month.  Joy Finkelson is the Military Sexual Trauma and Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program Coordinator at the St. Cloud V.A.  Joy and St. Cloud V.A. Public Affairs Officer Barry Venable say that 1 in 3 women veterans and 4 in 10 male veterans have experienced military sexual trauma.  Finkelson says the number could be much higher because those are just the numbers that are reported.  Many fail to report this trauma due to shame, embarrassment, guilt or repercussions.  Because of this any veteran who comes in for care the St. Cloud V.A. is asked screening questions about possible sexual trauma.

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Barry Venable says sexual trauma is not something that is exclusive to the military and it is a problem in other aspects of society.  Finkelson says the DOD (Department of Defense) has some prevention techniques but she isn't aware of the details of those techniques.  Venable says those who have experienced military sexual trauma who need to provide documentation of the incident and those who experienced this don't need to report the incident when it happened and it could be years after the incident. To contact Joy Finkelson at the St. Cloud V.A. please call 320-252-1670, extension 6398.

Finkelson says the St. Cloud V.A. has an intimate partner violence assistance program for the past couple of years.  She says she works with veterans or partners of veterans who experience violence. Finkelson says the program is designed to help who are victims or violence or using violence in their life.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Joy and Barry it is available below.



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