Finding Your Voice: A Workshop for Female Veterans

Grants and Contracts Details


Females make up about 14% of the military population and studies find that 21% report military sexual trauma. Data from the Veteran Affairs (VA) national screening program reveal that about 1 in 3 women responded “yes,” that they experienced military sexual trauma (MST) when screened by their VA provider. MST has been found to be a predictor of serious self-directed violence in women. Women veterans with post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), MST and exposure to combat are more prone to alcohol and other substance mis-use, emotional dysregulation, mental illnesses, internalized anger, shame, self-blame, hopelessness and powerlessness. Treatment programs should be heterogenous enough to allow for non-judgmental trauma processing from many different perspectives; they must be recovery-promoting. Storytelling refers to an individual telling their individual or community story to another person or a group of people. Storytelling is a practical approach where the narrative is embraced. Professionals are using this innovative approach to better recognize and appreciate our inherent subjectivity and expression. Guided storytelling allows survivors to shape their stories, center their thoughts and give broken and disordered pieces meaning. Studies utilizing storytelling have shown quality of life improvements, but more research is needed to quantify the benefits. Our proposed study Finding your Voice is a novel intervention in that survivors of MST will literally have center stage to say the words they might never have spoken and then the community supports and incorporates these new stories, have conversations about it, understand what could have been done differently—open up the dialogue—together. The program is a week-long workshop based on the Life Stories Program at the Theatre Lab in Washington D.C. This program teaches people from vulnerable populations to create original dramatic works using their own life experiences. Ms. April Harris (Director of Program) is a United States Army Veteran. We have 10 applicants who, if accepted, will arrive at Camp Brown Bear on June 9th. They will be coached by Ms. Harris for a week and will share their stories to the community through a final performance on June 16th. The performance will be held in the small auditorium in Bradford Hall at Kentucky State University.
Effective start/end date6/1/2212/31/22


  • Camp Brown Bear: $10,000.00


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