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Efforts to Aid Women with Military Sexual Trauma Claims

Anu Bhagwati, Executive Director of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), is in Washington, D.C. to meet with senior members of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) about the issue of military sexual trauma claims reform.

In 2010, SWAN partnered with the ACLU sued VA and the Department of Defense for “documentation related to military rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.” Although SWAN has yet to receive all of the requested documentation, their initial findings indicate that the Veterans Benefits Administration is strongly biased against Veterans whose claims are associated with military sexual trauma.

Bhagwati and SWAN National Peer Support Helpline caseworker, Rebecca Havrilla, will be meeting with Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) to discuss Rep. Pingree’s proposition to amend the claims process for those suffering the aftereffects of military sexual trauma by creating fairer evidentiary standards for victims.

To read more about SWAN and their commitment to women Veterans, please visit www.servicewomen.org.

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