It’s an issue that is often not adequately addressed: the trauma that sexual assault victims in the armed forces experience. Yet it’s a serious issue affecting at least one in five women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the VA. It even has a name, “Military Sexual Trauma” (MST), and is defined as “sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military.”
Unfortunately, many women don’t report sexual assault in the armed forces. And many don’t seek help from Veteran’s Administration (VA). The reasons vary, from fear of repercussions, feeling embarrassed or ashamed, or just not wanting to relive the nightmare.
Yet treatment can be effective in dealing with the psychological trauma that victims experience. One of the more serious and most common is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be debilitating and significantly alter one’s life. Other conditions linked to MST include insomnia and anxiety.
Recovering Disability Benefits for MST-Related Conditions
Compensation may be available for those suffering from MST. There are two required elements. First, the incident of sexual trauma must have occurred while on active duty. And the veteran must have received a medical diagnosis connected to the event. It could be that the sexual trauma resulted in the medical condition or made it worse.
Completing a disability application or appeal can be time-consuming and complicated, especially when dealing with a physical or psychological disability. One way to avoid complex issues with the paperwork and some of the challenges that may arise is to seek help from an attorney who handles veterans’ disability claims. Contact the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group for help: 855-855-8992.