MST: Military Sexual Trauma
Author: Dr. Miette Wells
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 92 pages
Military Sexual Trauma is a traumatic event from which many victims never fully recover. There is a uniqueness to MST which separates it from other traumas, even other sexual traumas. This book is the result of personal experience and research into the reality of thousands of US soldiers, past and present that encountered MST.
MST: Military Sexual Trauma provides an introspective and eye-opening look into a world that few survive unscarred.
Miette Wells joined the Air Force after high school in 1987 with an aspiration for a career in the military. Like so many others her ambitions were bashed when she has her first encounter with MST. After her military memoir authorship, Crossing the Blue Code and Beyond The Blue Code, numerous accounts of similar experiences flooded her email inbox. She decided there is much more she can do to bring MST to the knowledge of the general public.
MWSA 2010 Honorable Mention for Non-Fiction, Reference
MST: Military Sexual Trauma provides an excellent introspective review of the unique aspects affecting sexual trauma victims. The book focuses both on the victims and the culture of the military community that is the environment in which the victims live.
The author does a very good job of describing the characteristics of life in the military with its camaraderie, command structure, lack of freedoms, discipline and loss of privacy. The book then expertly describes how that culture accentuates the dilemma for someone who has just survived an MST. In the process a number of resources for counseling, healing, and even disability claims are identified for the reader.
The author covers a lot of ground in a rather short book discussing a topic that has been the focus of many lengthy studies. It provides a compelling case that the issues surrounding MST have not been resolved.
While the author does an excellent job identifying the extraordinary set of complicating factors a victim of MST faces, I had a hard time believing that victims' situations were so universally mishandled in the military.
The book is well presented and maintains an excellent focus.
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (2010)