Target: Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs
Goal: Give victims of sexual assault in the military the help and support they need
The Office for Veteran’s Affairs, often referred to as the VA, does not provide necessary treatment and compensation for victims raped while on active duty, and often denies them disability benefits for being unable to provide adequate “proof.” This lack of support on the part of the VA is absolutely unacceptable, and steps must be taken to address the issues with how it treats victims of rape and women in general. Please take action to defend the women who helped defend this country and to ensure that they receive the care and benefits they so desperately need.
It is no secret that the United States’ armed forced have a huge problem with sexual assault. Reported cases have skyrocketed in the last decade and the vast majority of cases still go unreported. Even worse is the fact that most women who report their cases are discharged with “mental health issues.” Not enough is done to protect these women from being assaulted in the first place, and when they return from their deployments the VA often denies their claims for disability benefits. This is despite the fact that many sexual assault victims suffer from PTSD induced by their attacks.
The VA also lacks the personnel and facilities to help female veterans. VA centers often lack female restrooms, gynecologists, and counselors with experience treating sexual assault induced PTSD or depression. There are many issues that plague the Veteran’s Affairs system, but this one is gender specific. It shows how little protection is offered to women in the military and highlights how little support victims of sexual assault receive. Steps must be taken to reform the VA and to ensure that victims of sexual assault are given the care and benefits they need and deserve. Please act now to demand these steps be taken immediately.
Dear Mr. McDonald,
It is no secret that the United States’ armed forces have a huge problem with sexual assault. Reports of sexual assault and rape have skyrocketed over the last decade and many more cases have gone unreported. As you well know, the victims of such assaults often end up with serious psychological issues ranging from depression to PTSD. The VA does not provide the proper support or benefits to these people and steps must be taken to reform the system.
For starters, VA centers must be altered to accommodate female veterans. This means having such basic things as female restrooms and gynecologists. They must also have counselors with experience treating sexual assault induced PTSD and depression for those who have been assaulted while on active duty. The VA must also stop denying claims for disability based on lack of “proof” of assault. Often there is not an official medical report to follow as many try to keep cases of assault in the armed forces quiet. I demand that you take these women’s needs into account and start showing them the respect that they deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kevin S. O’Brien via Wikimedia Commons