House Subcommittee Looks at Claims Process for Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
The difficulties involved in documenting claims for VA benefits related to military sexual trauma
(MST) were discussed at a House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing yesterday, as reported by USA Today. DOD has estimated that 19,000 sexual assaults took place in 2011, with equal numbers of men and women suffering an MST, although only about one in six formally report such incidents. DAV’s Deputy National Legislative DirectorJoy Ilem told the Subcommittee that it is extremely difficult for MST survivors to prove their claims
for benefits because sexual assaults in the military usually go unreported due to fear of retribution, stigma, and shame. Both the House and Senate are considering legislation (H.R. 930
, S. 1391
) to make it easier for MST survivors to prove their claims.