Sexual Violence in Military Service Members/Veterans Individual and Interpersonal Outcomes Associated with Single and Multiple Exposures to Civilian and Military Sexual Violence

Rebecca K. Blais, Whitney S. Livingston, Tyson S. Barrett, Hallie S. Tannahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sexual harassment and violence is a grave public health concern and risk for revictimization increases following initial exposure. Studies of sexual revictimization in military samples are generally limited to women and are focused on rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with no examination of how revictimization relates to interpersonal outcomes, such as relationship or sexual satisfaction. The current study addressed these gaps in a sample of 833 women and 556 men service members/veterans. Self-reported outcomes of PTSD, depression, suicidal ideation, sexual function, and relationship satisfaction were compared across those reporting exposure to sexual harassment and violence before the military only (i.e., pre-military), during the military only (i.e., military sexual harassment and violence [MSV]), before and during the military (i.e., revictimization), and to no exposure. More than half of women (51.14%, n = 426) reported revictimization and only 5.79% (n = 28) of men reported revictimization. Among women, those reporting MSV or revictimization tended to report higher PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation relative to pre-military sexual violence and no sexual violence exposure. No interpersonal outcomes were significantly different among these sexual violence groups. Among men, revictimization was associated with higher PTSD, depression, and sexual compulsivity. PTSD and depression were also higher among those reporting MSV only. No effects were found for premilitary sexual trauma exposure only or relationship satisfaction for either group. Findings highlight the particularly bothersome nature of MSV, whether it occurred alone or in tandem with premilitary sexual violence. Findings also show unique gender differences across outcomes, suggesting interventions following sexual harassment and violence may differ for men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • male survivors, military
  • mental health and violence
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • revictimization
  • sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual Violence in Military Service Members/Veterans Individual and Interpersonal Outcomes Associated with Single and Multiple Exposures to Civilian and Military Sexual Violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this