The high cost of having women, gays, ‘transgenders’, in the military
| VA Approves Fewer Male Veterans’ Claims for PTSD Related to Sexual Trauma
Military.com | By Patricia Kime – The Department of Veterans Affairs approves claims for post-traumatic stress disorder related to military sexual assault at significantly lower rates for men than women — a gap the former director of the VA’s Center for Women Veterans says shows “systematic discrimination” against men in an era of #MeToo.
Kayla Williams, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has closed a gap that once existed between approval rates for combat-related PTSD and claims for military sexual trauma (MST), but a disparity still exists between the genders for MST-related claims.
The grant rate in 2018 for sexual-trauma PTSD claims was 57 percent for women and 44 percent for men.
While those rates represent a large increase from the respective 41 percent and 27 percent approval rates in 2011, they show a continued lack of understanding within the VBA of the scope of the problem among men, Williams said in an interview Feb. 14.
Women in the military, who make up just 15 percent of the total force, do get assaulted at higher rates, statistics show.
But more than half of all survivors of sexual assault in the military are men.
And male victims are less likely to report sexual assault, often dismissing an incident as hazing or harassment, according to Williams.
Because they are less likely to report, men don’t have a paper trail or proof to back their disability compensation claims for MST-related PTSD, which are subsequently dismissed, she said.
She added that there is a cultural bias within the VBA that “doesn’t think this happens to men.” Read more.
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