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Cultural Barriers in Reporting Male Military Sexual Trauma in a Reserve and National Guard Deployment Context

McClain MP, Mengeling M, Reisinger HS, Booth BM, Torner J, Sadler AG. Cultural Barriers in Reporting Male Military Sexual Trauma in a Reserve and National Guard Deployment Context. Paper presented at: AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting; 2013 Jun 23; Baltimore, MD.


This pilot qualitative study sought to identify challenges victims of National Guard/Reserve (R/NG) troops face should they report an incident of male military sexual assault (MMST). Informants were current and prior service R/NG men. Informants were not victims, but gave reactions as troops, to the possibility of MMST victims reporting assaults. Seven focus groups were held (N = 20) and were stratified by Officer/Enlisted personnel. Sessions were transcribed and analyzed utilizing NVivo 8.0 for data management/analysis. R/NG troops face unique barriers to reporting victimization due to their citizen-soldier status and expectation of being marginalized by the military community: "Administratively it would be similar.but sure it would be different because you' active duty, it's.people from all over the United States, you get reassigned all the time, and-whereas in a reserve unit you're kind of stuck to, you know, you're from this region, and if you're gonna stay in the Guard or Reserve, everybody-everybody knows you. And there's no way you're really anonymous anymore." and "It would be embarrassing. You would be facing those same people for the next 20 years and they wouldn't stop talkin' about it, so you would be very reluctant to come forward." Special efforts to reach victims of R/NG MMST are likely needed to overcome negative perceptions and lack of anonymity.

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