Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Assailant identity and self-reported nondisclosure of military sexual trauma in partnered women veterans.

Blais RK, Brignone E, Fargo JD, Galbreath NW, Gundlapalli AV. Assailant identity and self-reported nondisclosure of military sexual trauma in partnered women veterans. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2018 Jul 1; 10(4):470-474.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: Department of Veterans Affairs estimates of military sexual trauma (MST) suggest 27% of female veterans have experienced MST. However, Department of Defense data (Department of Defense, 2014) show that a subgroup of active-duty women do not report sexual assaults to a military authority, suggesting barriers to disclosure exist among military samples. No study of female veterans has examined rates of nondisclosure among those with previous screens for MST; these data could inform screening efforts and establishment of safe havens for candid disclosures. METHOD: Using an explanatory sequential mixed-methods survey, a history of MST, and postservice MST disclosures during screening and their associations with demographic, assault, and screening-setting characteristics were evaluated in 359 female veterans. Open-ended responses regarding barriers to disclosure were analyzed using editing analysis style. RESULTS: Eighty-one percent (n = 289) reported MST. Of these, 50% (n = 143) reported a prior screening and 25% (n = 35) reported they did not disclose their true MST status. Veterans who experienced MST by a unit-member assailant were significantly less likely to disclose (adjusted odds ratio = 4.75, 95% confidence interval = 1.20-18.30). Disclosure barriers included stigma, experiential avoidance, and discomfort with the screening setting. CONCLUSION: Creative interventions to reduce nondisclosure among female veterans, with specific attention to those assaulted by a unit member, are urgently needed. (PsycINFO Database Record

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.