Sexual Harassment Attorney
PTSD may be caused by things other than combat. Its general definition is based on experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. So it’s natural that veterans who have experienced sexual trauma should be eligible to receive support for the PTSD they endured.
Military Sexual Trauma Includes:
Military Sexual Trauma is defined by the VA as experiences of sexual assault or repeated sexual harassment that occurred while in service. It is labeled in federal law as a type of psychological trauma resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment.
The conditions for MST are also not strictly when a veteran is in active duty; it can also take place during active duty for training or inactive duty training. And under MST is Military Sexual Assault (MSA) and Military Sexual Harassment (MSH). MSA is defined as intentional sexual contact characterized by the use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority. Meanwhile, MSH is repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.
MST adversely affects thousands of service members during active military duty, and in most cases, it causes victims to develop mental disorders such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depressive disorders.
Effects and Behaviors Associated with MST
As mentioned already, MST can affect a veteran’s mental health and cause them to develop mental disorders that will affect their day-to-day life. And it is unfortunate that in 2017, veterans who filed benefit claims seeking support for PTSD related to military sexual trauma were denied. Out of the 12,000 veterans who filed for MST, half were denied.
Sexual trauma can be crippling, and it can affect both men and women alike. It’s even said that those that suffered from MST are likely more at risk of sexual assault later on in life. And with so many servicemen and women seeking support from the VA, it tragically indicates that sexual abuse and assault are common. Military Sexual Harassment, which is characterized by physical force, threats of negative consequences, implied promotion, and promises of favored treatment, are the most prominent claim.
The Process for Receiving VA Benefits
As it’s been stated before, among the 12,000 veterans, only half of the claims followed through. It’s harsh to think that the VA, the supposed veteran-friendly system it prizes itself to be, does not responsibly handle cases of PTSD caused by military sexual trauma.
In their own words, “Service connection for acquired psychiatric disorder due to MST is denied since the condition neither occurred in nor was caused by service.” This is not the legal analysis required by the Secretary of the VA. This means that a veteran should be given proper evaluation. And at least the VA recognizes that sexual assault is not always reported, which is why receiving treatment for MST does not require it to be service connected. However, it is a problem that veterans from San Diego and beyond have faced.
Was Your Claim Denied?
It is a travesty that many claims for PTSD caused by military sexual trauma end up being callously denied. It’s a frustrating experience that’ll leave a veteran feeling as though no one will believe them. If you are a San Antonio veteran whose MST claim got denied, reach out to Stephen Brodsky. His experience as a lawyer for San Diego veterans helps you take action against the injustice of the VA disability benefits system.