Military sexual assault is an often overlooked or ignored cause of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans. Many instances of sexual assault or trauma may go unreported for years, and the damage from the event may last a lifetime.
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Office of the Inspector General is answering allegations that the military does not properly handle cases of sexual assault by launching an investigation. The IG will review previous investigations concluded in 2013 to determine if the sexual assault cases are handled properly.
The IG will focus on the conduct of military criminal investigation organizations and determine whether their policies and procedures meet the DoD and service guidelines. There will also be a focus on whether the investigations of alleged sexual misconduct are brought to conclusion.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nearly one in five female servicemembers and one in 100 male servicemembers have experienced military sexual trauma (MST) during their military career. The effects of MST vary from person to person, and may include emotional distress, PTSD, sleep difficulty, substance abuse, and difficulty maintaining relationships.
As more veterans speak up about instances of MST and the stigma of reporting such events is lessened, the VA and DoD are stepping up programs for prevention and treatment.
Many veterans who are victims of MST and did not report the event when it occurred may face difficulty filing a claim for service-connected disabilities related to the attack. If your disability claim was denied due to a lack of evidence of sexual trauma to establish that a disabling condition developed from your military service, an attorney can help with your appeal.
Contact The Law Offices of Veterans Help Group to speak to a veterans disability claims specialist: 1-855-855-8992.