sexual trauma

The Department of Defense estimates 14,900 service members experienced some kind of sexual assault in 2016 - its most recent report. But because of the stigma - many wait decades before they get help - usually from the VA.

So it’s no surprise, the average age is 45 for women and 50 for men for veterans entering the Bay Pines VA Center for Sexual Trauma Services in St. Petersburg.

Melissa Lyttle / Tampa Bay Times

Most VA hospitals treat military sexual trauma victims alongside patients with psychological problems. But it’s different at Bay Pines Healthcare System in St. Petersburg, which has a residential program reserved for veterans of sexual assault -- including men.