November 01, 2017

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Support Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan announced today that she cosponsored the bipartisan Servicemember and Veterans’ Empowerment and Support Act to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs provides appropriate benefits and care for survivors of military sexual assault trauma (MST).

Following reports earlier this year that nude photos of female service members were posted on Facebook and other websites without the service members’ knowledge or consent, the senators’ legislation will ensure that service members and veterans who have experienced online sexual harassment can access VA counseling and benefits.

“It is unacceptable that service members face sexual assault and harassment during or after their service to our country, and it is critical that the VA provides all of the counseling and benefits necessary for those who are affected by military sexual trauma,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan legislation is an important step in ensuring that survivors of military sexual assault trauma have the support they need and deserve, and I’m proud to join members of both parties in fighting for better care for our service members and veterans.”

The Servicemember and Veterans’ Empowerment and Support Act will codify VA policies that reduce the burden of proof on survivors to access trauma and mental health care related to MST. Additionally, in an effort to encourage more victims to come forward, the bill requires military officials to educate service members about available VA services for military sexual trauma survivors.

The Servicemember and Veterans’ Empowerment and Support Act can be found online HERE.

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