A look at some of the VA programs MST survivors chose to help them recover

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April has come to and end and it was another successful and moving month of events to raise awareness of sexual assault and in particular, military sexual trauma. I wanted to share with you a few events hosted this year in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month by VA facilities across the country.

Tiffany Becker, the MST coordinator at the Marion VA Medical Center in Illinois, hosted a “Story Dolls Project.” This idea came from one of the Veterans in her MST therapy group and was something the group did in addition to the annual Clothesline Project, another therapeutic and awareness raising event where participants tell their story of sexual assault and recovery by decorating t-shirts that are then hung on a clothesline to educate others.

Five female survivors decided to tell their stories through the dolls. During group therapy, they picked out the fabric pieces to tell their stories, so each piece has meaning to it. Some of the Veterans have cards to explain each piece of the doll.

The cloth that the story dolls are sitting on in the picture is actually t-shirts from their Clothesline Project. Other facilities that hosted Clothesline Project or other displays of survivor stories and artwork include Iowa City, Iowa;  Manchester, NH; Salisbury, Maryland;  Sacramento, California;  Boston, Massachusetts;  Orlando, Florida,  Western New York, Bonham, Texas;  Colorado Springs, Colorado Vet Center; West Palm Beach, Florida; Beckley, West Virginia; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Fargo, North Dakota;  Roseburg, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; Hudson Valley, New York;  Washington,

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