Sexual Assault and PTSD in the Military

According to an article in the New York Times, a recent Pentagon study noted a fifty percent increase in the number of military sexual assaults reports.  The study indicated that over 5,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2013.  Less than ten percent of those cases went to trial.  There is uncertainty about whether the increased reporting is due to changes made by the military to encourage reporting by sexual assault victims or whether there is actually an increased number of sexual assault cases.

It goes without saying that sexual assault is a horrible crime.  The victims of sexual assault are harmed physically and emotionally.  Many sexual assault victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their traumatic experience.  When PTSD develops after a sexual assault in the military, the service member should receive disability compensation benefits.  However, as reported by NBC News, a recent lawsuit filed by two veterans organizations claims that the Department of Veterans Affairs discriminates against victims of sexual assault in PTSD claims.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit indicate that VA is as much as thirty percent less likely to authorize a claim for sexual assault related PTSD when compared to other PTSD claims.   VA claims that there is only about a six percent difference in the approval rate for the fiscal year 2013.  It is important to realize that this is only a lawsuit that has been filed and no determination has been made about the merits of the claims made in the lawsuit.  Nevertheless, it is concerning that there is data to indicate that service members who are victims of sexual assault may be held to a higher standard than service members who developed PTSD as a result of some other service-connected event.

Travis Studdard is an attorney who focuses on representing veterans in VA disability compensation claims.  He regularly writes about issues that are important to veterans and their families.

You can subscribe to his Veterans Disability channel on YouTube.

Rita BarnesRita Barnes
00:03 20 Jan 22
This is a great group of people who really care about your well being. They all treated me as though I was family and helped me with my work comp case in more ways than the average would have.Thank you Jason and Thank you Tina! For doing an awesome job.
Cortex ButlerCortex Butler
18:09 29 Dec 21
I am a Veteran of United States Air Force and was awarded my first 30% in 1996 and have been fighting for my rating for 26 years I came to Perkins and Studdard in 2019 while my mom was in a terrible incident and was given to much anesthesia and through GODS Grace she was spared her life, She is disabled since 2018 and I have been struggling with my life and issues and yet I didn’t call the law firm every 10 minutes or call being rude anytime, I mentioned this as I got to know Jessica more than just a phone call and Mr Studdard was always available when not working on other cases or in court, They always called back and Never had to do a call back, My Review is Simple in Life there peaks and valleys and it doesn’t stop because you have issues, Perkins & Studdard took my case in 2019 in 2021 I received my 100% from VA, I Was Never Rude, I was Never Promised Success, I Was Never Lied too and I was Always Treated with Respect, Friendliness, and Kindness the Real Stuff not a (Money Thing) If You want a firm that Cares about the Client and will work on your case even through a pandemic, Will not lie, will not promise anything will communicate your case and will Give you their Best ALWAYS THIS IS THE Best Law Firm for VETS HANDS DOWN Perkins and Studdard THERE IS NO OTHER 100% we had 5 calls Total Case That’s Taking Care Of Business
annetteMomma nokesannetteMomma nokes
14:29 12 Sep 16
Jason and his paralegal Lisa were on point and on top of their game when it came to handling my worker's comp. injury case. I tried going it alone and the insurance carrier pushed me around. They denied extra physical therapy. They denied injections the doctor recommended to ease my pain. When I turned my case over to Jason things turned around, QUICK. They were at all times attentive and on top of my case. I cannot recommend Jason and his staff enough. If you are hurt at work, this is the firm you want on YOUR side.
Sheila KirklinSheila Kirklin
23:11 12 May 16
Jason Perkins, was my lawyer in a workers comp. case, my case has settled now, and I am very happy for all Jason and his office hard work on my case, he was always there to help me out with any questions that I had or help I needed. Jason is a excellent lawyer and if I ever need another one I would only go to Perkins,Because I believe they would be able to help me in any situation I am in need of..
Anna PabonAnna Pabon
23:16 13 Sep 15
I recommend Perkins Law Firm. Everyone I came in contact with there was very nice. Kim was very helpful and any time I had a question she made sure I got an answer. Ann Margaret really took the time to explain things to me.

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