Military Sexual Assault Went Unreported at Fort Jackson

Several cases of military sexual assault that took place at Fort Jackson may have been covered up, according to reports from The State. Army officials have been investigating these cases of sexual misconduct. Some victims of military sexual assault have developed mental health conditions and, in some cases, mental health disabilities.

Defining Military Sexual Assault and Trauma

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has dedicated a large portion of its mental health research and awareness campaigns to combating military sexual trauma (MST) and assault. The definition from the VA is “sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military.”

Some of the examples listed in the definition include any sexual activity where someone is involved against his or her will such as:

  • physically forced into sexual activity;
  • pressured into engaging in sexual activity (by threats of negative consequences if refusing or with perks for participating);
  • sexual conduct when the victim may have been unable to consent (such as if intoxicated);
  • unwanted touching or grabbing of a sexual nature;
  • threatening, offensive remarks about a person’s body or sexual activities; and
  • sexual advances that are threatening or unwanted.

Who experiences military sexual assault?

Both male and female veterans have been the victims of military sexual trauma or assault. According to the VA, about one in five female servicemembers and one in 100 male servicemembers admit to having experienced some form of sexual assault during their military service.

Effects of Military Sexual Assault

The VA reports that military sexual trauma is an experience and is not classified among the mental health conditions that may qualify a veteran for disability benefits. However, disabling mental health conditions may result such as depression and other emotional reactions, difficulty sleeping, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Physical health problems such as sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, and gastrointestinal issues can also result from sexual assault. It may have other effects, too, such as problems maintaining relationships, substance abuse, and more.

Treatment for these conditions may be provided through the VA health care system and may qualify for veterans’ disability benefits. A South Florida veterans disability benefits attorney may help veterans file a VA disability application. Your attorney may help you produce the sometimes sensitive evidence necessary to support your claim of mental disabilities due to military sexual assault.

If you are a disabled veteran who has experienced military sexual assault and now suffer from related mental health conditions, call the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group in South Florida 855-855-8992. The mental health conditions associated with military sexual assault may qualify for benefits.