Military Sexual Trauma Finally Being Recognized as a National Crisis

New Law Changes Military Policies. 

For too long, Military Sexual Trauma (MST) remained one of the military’s most tragic secrets.  Now MST is finally getting the national attention it deserves both in the media and among public officials.

What is MST? 

To learn more about MST, visit VA’s PTSD website.  MST is defined as “psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a VA mental health professional, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the Veteran was serving on active duty or active duty for training.”

MST Cases Rise Sharply

An Associated Press story last week reported that the number of reported sexual assaults in the military increased by more than 50% in the past year.  Defense officials say the increase may suggest that victims are becoming more willing to come forward after a tumultuous year of scandals that shined a spotlight on the crimes and put pressure on the military to take aggressive action.  This may be a result of new MST laws enacted during 2013.

New MST Laws

As ABC News reports, President Barack Obama recently signed a legislation into law that sets in motion a new policy that changes the way the military investigates and prosecutes cases of MST.

Among other things, ABC notes, the new policy prohibits commanders from overturning jury trial verdicts, makes it a crime to retaliate against victims who report assaults, and eliminates the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault for courts-martial.

Bergmann & Moore follows the issue of MST closely because many Veterans experience long delays and improper denials for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claims involving MST.  If your claim was denied or given a low rating, or if you can’t work due to medical conditions associated with PTSD and MST, please call Bergmann & Moore for a free claim appeal consultation. 

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