New changes in the law allow for previously unreported sexual assaults to be investigated by the VA and, in some cases, can lead to an increase in veterans benefits. The VA is now encouraging those who experienced military sexual trauma (MST), including service-connected sexual abuse, rape, groping or other sexual trauma, to come forward.
According to a recent survey from the Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 1 in 4 female service members said they were victims of sexual harassment or assault. This is a problem that is growing more concerning, as female veterans make up the military’s fastest-growing demographic – close to 2.2 million, or 10%, of the nation’s vets. According to the Washington Post, over 280,000 women veterans have come back home following deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. The VA health system reports that 1 in 100 men have also experienced sexual abuse while serving in the military.
Reports of Military Sexual Assault Are on the Rise (WaPo):
Sadly, those who have been abused often could not get help in the past, or faced reprisal for speaking out. The Pentagon released survey results stating that 62% of veterans who reported sexual assault say they experienced retaliation or ostracism from superiors and peers in the service.
Finally, the VA is recognizing the oversight and encouraging those who experienced Military Sexual Trauma to step forward and re-apply for benefits.
Our Team Can Guide You Toward the Benefits You Deserve
Attorney George Sink is passionate about helping veterans secure the benefits they need and deserve – especially because he is himself a disabled veteran and former Marine Corps Captain who served two tours in Vietnam. Because we know that the VA disability claim process can be difficult and that veterans may have been treated unfairly in the past, we devote a large part of our practice to helping vets appeal decisions and resubmit claims.
If you or someone you love would like to re-apply for VA benefits for issues such as PTSD or MST, our national veterans disability lawyers are ready to help protect your rights no matter where you are located in the country or state of South Carolina – including Charleston, Columbia, or any of our other office locations!