According to a congressional report, 284 sexual assaults have occurred in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Further, the majority of the victims are patients. The VA responded to the report by promising to make a more secure environment and prosecute those responsible.
One problem facing the VA is actually having the assaults reported. They are now focusing on improving and expanding allegations of assaults being reported.
The report was issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and covered the years between January 2007 and July 2010. The report placed much of the blame for the attacks on the VA’s lack of proper patient screening. According to the GAO, proper screening would aid the VA in predicting which people are likely to become a sexual offender.
The GAO also faulted the VA for not providing proper protection for both VA patients and their employees. The VA’s failings included alarm and surveillance systems that did not function as they were designed, malfunctioned, or did not work at all. Multiple times security personnel were never alerted when someone was in trouble despite being in the same unit at the time.
The GAO report did not conclude how many of the reported assaults were verified or how they were resolved. The following allegations were included in the total amount of reported assaults:
- 67 rapes;
- 185 inappropriate touchings;
- 8 forceful medical examinations;
- 13 forced or inappropriate oral sex; and
- 11 other sexual assaults.
According to the VA, all allegations are investigated. Although the report brought these sexual assaults to the light, the problem is likely much more widespread with many assaults never being reported.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.