Rape is not only traumatic, but can lead to post traumatic stress disorder that can, and does, last for years. For the victims of Military Sexual Trauma or MST, the related PTSD can often go untreated or can be difficult to get treatment for, especially through the Veterans Administration. The Servicewomen’s Action Network has found that less than a third of MST-PTSD claims are approved by the VA even though 53% of PTSD claims overall are.
SWAN notes that:
VA’s system for processing MST disability claims must change now.
SWAN has worked hard for several years to get VA policy revised to ease the burden on veterans with MST. After filing a Freedom of Information Act request for MST-related data, suing VA for that data, negotiating with VA leadership, testifying before multiple Congressional committees and working with several members of Congress on this issue, SWAN needs your help to move this issue to the next level!
SWAN is set to testify before Congress on this issue. Survivors, advocates and others will be there to lobby Congress to reform the VA’s system regarding MST-PTSD. They are also asking allies to help by calling “House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) at (202) 225-4136 and the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ) at (202) 225-4765 and let them know two things:
“1) Tell them that the process for filing MST claims is broken and must change NOW.
“2) Tell them about the difficulties you had putting together your VA claim, and how you were personally affected if your claim was rejected.
“If you speak to a staffer in their offices, do not worry – they will pass your words on to the Congressmen. This issue is at a crossroads, and your call is critical to fixing the VA and obtaining justice for hundreds of thousands of veterans whom the VA has left behind. “