Listen via @nprnews: Women Fight Their Way Through #Army's Grueling #Ranger School http://t.co/pyvysnX96g
As #MarineCorps tests viability of #womenincombat roles, some have already joined the ranks http://t.co/bUTeMdU1mc
#DOD seeks right standards, policies for #womenincombat http://t.co/XN8PdwOpxr
#Navy Sec Mabus: 1 in 4 #Marine recruits should be women http://t.co/h1QHH6M82S via @marinetimes
A band of sisters on the Special Ops battlefield http://t.co/Au2V2KPdom
Wife, mother, Purple Heart recipient tries to break down barriers #womenincombat http://t.co/34ChR4ye3p
#AirForce testing gender-neutral standards in San Antonio #womenincombat http://t.co/gXOCKKmvEB via @airforcetimes
.@SenatorShaheen: We must provide better access to contraception to #women in the #military: http://t.co/IUj4aWkQRZ via @TIMEIdeas
How we're failing our female #veterans: from ill-fitting equipment to ill-equipped #VA system, we must do better http://t.co/ekWOv9taJe
Announcing the SWAN 2015 Women Veterans in Leadership and Policy Fellows #constantcontact http://t.co/tgfkCVie3U
ICYMI 2016 #NDAA SVCs will have to be in the room with #MilitarySexualAssault survivors during questioning by investigators
ICYMI 2016 #NDAA requires #SecDef to look at feasibility of providing SVCs to civilian survivors of servicemember assault
Lawmakers Back Broader Access to Contraceptives for Women in the #Military #NDAA http://t.co/FAILzy9EvC
ICYMI 2016 #NDAA would allow SVC’s to provide survivors w/ more legal services ie. criminal & congressional proceedings
Rep @nikiinthehouse adds provision to #NDAA that would establish comprehensive breastfeeding policy http://t.co/JF19lVm1sX
#Army’s all-women special ops teams: cemented the importance of putting women in forward-deployed #military roles http://t.co/fJ3ZkHBxaL
ICYMI 2016 #NDAA includes prohibition on retaliation against Special Victims’ Counsels (SVCs)for effectively representing their clients
Experiment tests #womenwarriors at tip of the spear, will help Pentagon decide whether women can fight on front lines http://t.co/38hfoztXOA
ICYMI 2016 #NDAA will improve servicewomen's #birthcontrol access: http://t.co/vgziqHRLCK
More than a dozen provisions in 2016 #NDAA address #MilitarySexualAssault and #ReproductiveRights for #Servicewomen. ICYMI SWAN recaps…
.@SenGillibrand vows to add sexual assault proposal to defense bill http://t.co/ThuIW3vowJ
#Womenincombat: Test failures raise questions about how many can succeed http://t.co/DWCcqON6wG via @washtimes
Insults to injury: #Military sexual assault victims endure retaliation http://t.co/wvNBCabgAF
Ex-airman says reporting sex assault sparked trouble; "clearly a leadership failure" says SWAN's @gregjacob01 http://t.co/Zfxx8bI6JQ
#Congress presses #military to design special line of combat boots for women http://t.co/6eldNdp5wl via @washtimes
Canadian military looks to US counterpart on dealing w/ sexual misconduct, SWAN's @gregjacob01 spoke with The Citizen http://t.co/d7iDiCaciK
Defence policy: America’s Amazons #womenincombat http://t.co/FbAR3yWb5T via @TheEconomist
US #Military's Sexual Assault Problem is So Bad the #UN Is Getting Involved http://t.co/zJ1Su5nlS5
RT @gregjacob01: Marines Take Coed Living in Stride; the latest from @HopeSeck on the @USMC #GCEITF http://t.co/ypt1AKIqyB #WomenInCombat @…
#Military sexual assault claims buried in latest #SAPRO report: only 1 in 20 lead to jail time http://t.co/irp9OEfqzE
RT @gregjacob01: Thoughts are with the passengers and crew of #Amtrak188. @servicewomen staff frequently ride the DC-NY route, fortunately …
All-female #Marine grunt teams get innovative during combat tests: Part One in series http://t.co/JgWcmqC9fs via @armytimes
Stop Assaults on #Military Campuses: OpEd by Yale law students interning at the #Veterans Legal Services Clinic. http://t.co/8nw5asSlx9
Our Women Veterans Fellowship in Leadership & Public Policy is approaching quickly, but there's still time to apply! https://t.co/PHxu16BxCc
RT @gregjacob01: .@usairforce audit shows majority of #SARCs and #VAs untrained, lacking required background check. http://t.co/7xiMpxi2ZF…
OPINION: Protecting against assault, improvements are overshadowed by 62% of women who said they faced retaliation http://t.co/0e8Knc95E2
RT @womenjustice: Read @servicewomen & @womenjustice's report on US military sexual violence, informing UN human rights review of US: http:…
New #JointChiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford to make call on #womenincombat http://t.co/DD6EAv8PRo
All remaining female soldiers fail #Ranger School's 'Darby Phase,' can attempt again http://t.co/bWB9XX2R3N
RT @gaylelemmon: #AshleysWar in @Militarydotcom "Special Ops Leaders Praise Women's Role in Ranger Raids" http://t.co/wie6G64WQH
@_GaelEB Thank you Gael!!
#DACOWITS conduct focus groups at Fort Campbell examining issues service women face http://t.co/J2ipmfCSzB
#AirForce announces first female F-35 pilot http://t.co/VlAPzFTEDa
Opinion: The #Pentagon should drop the ban on women in combat units – no exceptions http://t.co/1Xb8Gin6TJ
#Military sex assault numbers would double if civilian victims were counted, @SenGillibrand report says http://t.co/iibhMMpvEs
Bill would up protections for #military whistleblowers who 'bravely speak out about wrongdoing or misconduct' http://t.co/TWPepwsuvE
Breaking #military's ultimate glass ceiling? Women start #Ranger training http://t.co/O4FnfWdmvk
Why physical standards still dog the fight about #womenincombat units http://t.co/aU7ZVGLrvB
#Pentagon accused of withholding info on sex crimes: "I don't think military is being honest," says @SenGillibrand http://t.co/1CJzMhQD4o
#Navy #SEALs see no barrier to women in combat ranks http://t.co/wUtDuRYX55 via @washtimes
Few Military Women Seek Care After Sexual Assault: Study http://t.co/xUutUQ1Sik via @usnews
Little progress made in countering perceptions of retaliation in sexual assault reporting http://t.co/dNa7MFzjCQ
RT @DeptofDefense: #SecDef: Our commitment to stopping sexual assault will never cease. http://t.co/gOFaZwrl4j http://t.co/cwiOlhTUAR
Statement from SWAN interim executive director Erica Hunt in response to Pentagon SAPRO sexual assault survey results http://t.co/RFhW0LKyr4
Inside #Army Ranger School With First Female Soldiers #womenincombat http://t.co/WvG36S4EYB via @ABC
.@RepSpeier Passes 11 Military Sexual Assault Amendments in the #FY16NDAA http://t.co/d7IwqV4JyK
RT @nikiinthehouse: Annual defense bill includes my bill w/ @RepMikeTurner to support #MST survivors #FY16NDAA @HASCDemocrats http://t.co/t…
RT @gregjacob01: .@servicewomen supported #military whistleblower protection bill introduced by @SenatorBoxer today. http://t.co/9kFJcuLnft
Women in special operations: Female troops detail their time in combat http://t.co/WvK7t0Vq6J
It's still not too late to become a fellow! Women #Veterans #Fellowship in Leadership & Public Policy info here: https://t.co/23kznLOuU3
#DoD Official Provides Update on #Combat Jobs for Women http://t.co/qN3ZOdmUxZ
#Obama Urged to Add Sex Assault Protections at #Military Academies via InsideHigherEd http://t.co/iePjjx5OnS
Activists call for stiffer internal oversight of #military academy sex assault cases #SAAM http://t.co/8coYAcSAiF
w/ proposed EO "POTUS could increase accountability & transparency at our Service Academies" says SWAN's @gregjacob01 http://t.co/SrbsRxNLhw
How SWAN Is Tackling Sexual Assault In #Military Service Academies http://t.co/NDBMROEF4w via @HuffPostLive
RT @starsandstripes: Group urges @DOD_IG oversight of #military service academy sex assaults: http://t.co/8tK5B3UTak @servicewomen by @Trav
RT @WIIS_Global: Watch live event of "Women in Combat: Where They Stand" now at http://t.co/Nmo19cCUvi
SWAN delivers proposed executive order to #WhiteHouse for protections at #Military Service Academies http://t.co/N8aCSnDncv
RT @nikiinthehouse: "status quo is simply unacceptable” - Read about my new bill w @RepMikeTurner to combat #MST - the SUPPORT Act: http://…
Decisions loom after #Marine infantry officer experiment ends #womenincombat http://t.co/EeWks1Nupm via @marinetimes
Eight women finish first week of US #Army #Ranger test http://t.co/rVCOE2oG5V
Judge Won't Dismiss Sex Claims Against #WestPoint, former cadet can move forward with her lawsuit http://t.co/lzjEkJlvLH via @ABC
RT @ArielaMigdal: Shifting Deadlines, Shifty Numbers: The Pentagon’s Messy Process for Removing the Ban on Women in Combat https://t.co/ivx…
#Senate passes amendment closing #military sex offender loophole https://t.co/voHjiaW2S2 via @DenverChannel
Ashton Carter: ‘Maybe’ all #combat jobs will be open to women in January http://t.co/jMf6G99nfI via @washtimes
Secretary #AshCarter to Troops: I Need You to Say ‘Enough’ to Sexual Assault http://t.co/3YpXghrKeB via @defenseone
#AirForce to begin tests to open combat jobs to women http://t.co/KsydLnz8hr via @airforcetimes
#AirForce begins testing phase for #womenincombat roles, working to open the last 1 percent http://t.co/9Z0nr9CDJF
RT @gregjacob01: TODAY: At the #Senate Veteran Affairs Cmte hearing on women #veterans health care Panel1: VA officials Panel 2: VSOs and …
#FortBragg has several resources for victims of sexual assault http://t.co/J1NdS2y5bc
#SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth: Survivor’s experience brings message home, emphasized importance of changing culture http://t.co/TZwaHA8yhM
Voices: Integrating women into #combat units http://t.co/B8GUC0bhhq via @usatoday
#Army Shows Women No Slack at Elite #Ranger Qualifiers http://t.co/yGFERcTjFV via @defenseone
Aberdeen Proving Ground opens sex assault center; but it's only one half of the equation says SWAN's @gregjacob01 http://t.co/c6g13nVQJo
It's not too late to become a fellow! Women #Veterans #Fellowship in Leadership & Public Policy info here: https://t.co/23kznLOuU3
Meet the women helping the #Army as #Ranger School takes on female soldiers #womenincombat http://t.co/ur4kPrUsLM
McCaskill-Backed Bill Would Open up Disability Benefits for Survivors of #Military Sexual Assault @clairecmc http://t.co/jZ5JLJ0mKA
Inside the #Army's effort to train and assess women for #Ranger School #womenincombat http://t.co/vCAtoRK7u5
Marin #military sexual trauma survivor to lobby #Congress #passMJIA http://t.co/PAhGf2v28C via @marinij
#Transgender in the #military: A #Pentagon in transition weighs its policy http://t.co/8zZZMJgp12
Last IOC in #Marine infantry experiment drops female officers http://t.co/oLHB3OSnJh via @marinetimes
SWAN is looking for #vets for our #Women Veterans #Fellowship in #Leadership and Public Policy! Apply here: http://t.co/zqcYcSACDm
Men Say They're Wary of Women in Special Forces: #Veterans of Both Sexes Weigh In http://t.co/Y0rwbJeOOu
RT @csmonitor: Pentagon faces hurdle to women in Special Ops: 'uninformed' men http://t.co/k308l2sK8V

Military Sexual Trauma VA Claims

In order to effectively advocate for change within large institutions like the U.S. Military and Department of Veterans Affairs, SWAN employs a forward-thinking, multi-path strategic approach to reform that exerts pressure on these institutions to bring about change. SWAN engages the institutional leadership, activates oversight mechanisms, employs media advocacy and energizes affected populations to fix issues that require an entire change in the way large institutions do business. Here are SWAN’s strategies for institutional reform around key issue areas and what you can do to help.

SWAN’S Campaign to Reform Military Sexual Trauma (MST) VA Claims

The Issue:

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) survivors face an uphill battle in getting MST-related claims approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) due to a higher evidentiary burden.

Why it Matters:

Veterans who experience sexual violence often experience a triple betrayal: first by their sexual predator, then by members of their own unit, and then by the VA when filing a disability claim. Based on data that SWAN and the ACLU obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, we learned that 32% of MST-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) claims are approved by VA versus 54% of other PTSD claims – evidence of tremendous institutional bias against MST claimants.

SWAN’s Solution:

In order to correct the disadvantage faced by MST survivors, SWAN proposes changing VA regulation so that the standard for evidence on MST-related claims is the same as other PTSD claims.

Action Steps:

  • SWAN has asked VA to fix its unfair evidentiary standard. VA has not adopted this change as policy, though they have issued statements and letters calling on raters to take MST claims seriously. Nothing short of an actual policy change will fix this problem. (Link to any PDFs of letters or documentation to this ask.)
  • Legislative Change – SWAN has worked with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Senator Jon Tester to introduce the Ruth Moore Act that would compel VA to fix the broken MST claims process. Executive Director Anu Bhagwati has testified several times to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs on the need for MST claims reform.
  • Community Action – Navy veteran and MST survivor Ruth Moore has bravely stepped forward to help share the human story behind the broken MST claims process. It took Ruth 23 years to get her claim approved. Read her story here [LINK]. SWAN has partnered with Equality Now and Change.org on petition drives that have gathered more than 180,000 signatures to ensure justice and benefits for veterans. We urge you to join with us. Sign and share these petitions with your friends, families and networks. Call your members of Congress and tell them to co-sponsor The Ruth Moore Act. Register to attend SWAN’s annual Summit on Military Sexual Violence where hundreds of survivors and advocates will personally urge Congress to pass The Ruth Moore Act in 2013.
  • Media Advocacy – SWAN is also working to apply pressure to VA to make the policy change needed to serve MST survivors through concerted press and new media outreach. Take a look at some of SWAN’s media efforts around this issue.