Friday, December 17, 2010

Zero Tolerance Needed for MST

by Jim Fausone
Veteran Lawyer

We have written about the MST problem before. Military Sexual Trauma broadly covers rape, sexual harassment and discrimination. We deal with the aftermath when veterans seek compensation for MST. About 80 percent of unwanted or threatening sexual acts are not reported. Victims who report abuse to their superiors often face social isolation, retribution and counter accusations.

The ACLU has filed a suit seeking information on the number of acquittals, convictions and sentences, the number of disability claims related to sexual trauma that were accepted and rejected, and the number of sexual harassment complaints. The government prosecutes 8 percent of military sex offenders, while 40 percent of civilian sex offenders are prosecuted, according to the lawsuit. This disparity in prosecution affects the handling of claims by VA as no contemporaneous records exist to establish service connection.

Let’s see if a federal court can force DOD to provide the information requested, if it helps stop MST and helps in getting veterans compensation for MST.

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