RT @HRC: .@USArmy is Held Accountable for Discrimination Against a #Transgender Civilian Employee http://t.co/xmRvgEhDVh via @HRC
Take a stand against domestic violence #DVAM http://t.co/CwBtU8YgXp
Five military women open up about life in a war zone http://t.co/G5OxltPYKf
US #Marines turn to female CEOs for advice on recruiting & retaining #yesallwomen http://t.co/6rjEyiiAM8
RT @gregjacob01: Proud to be joining other grassroots DV and sex asslt allies today at a Community Leaders Roundtable in the @NFL head offi…
RT @MilitaryHealth: #Pregnant moms-to-be: get your questions answered on this @usairforce site, created just for you. http://t.co/3sEOOPGs4…
#Navy reservist completes run to honor #servicewomen http://t.co/3Et1AoJLFK
#Yoga helps war #veterans get a handle on their PTSD http://t.co/kMZebXp8ov via @washingtonpost
18th Air Force Commander Upholds Sex Assault Conviction http://t.co/ZU280ztUKR via @Militarydotcom
Female #Vets Say They'll Put Country First, Even On Capitol Hill via @nprnews http://t.co/ld553JJpRi
Opinion: #military should make everyone in service follow California's 'yes means yes' law http://t.co/q90bpUS6jq via @washingtonpost
RT @HuffingtonPost: 85 colleges are now under federal investigation for sexual assault cases http://t.co/dwTUJn13QJ
Norway Closes Gender Gap as Women #Military Draft Starts #womenincombat http://t.co/zPQuKjiKOz via @BloombergNews
Sexual Assault Prevention Effort Tailored to Junior Marines http://t.co/LaULK9JDV4 via @Militarydotcom
39 women apply for Ranger School adviser duty #womenincombat http://t.co/YN9aBxN0By
RT @AnuBhagwati: #SWAN MAC'er @allysonrobinson speaks to military's obsolete #transgender policy: http://t.co/cpHqvYomRy @servicewomen h/t …
Commander, Navy Region Southeast Signs #DomesticViolenceAwareness Proclamation http://t.co/mJRfxzSNZi
Women in the #military: All branches say they'll continue to open jobs for female troops #womenincombat http://t.co/debhds2uMk
Grad students raise awareness of sexual violence in the military via @gwhatchet http://t.co/1gjKqRpqSU
RT @gregjacob01: Testifying to the Judicial Proceedings Panel today on privacy & issues with courtroom use of sex asslt counseling records …
Interview with Michelle Howard, first female 4 star admiral in #Navy http://t.co/kxhG6uD2oQ via @WAMCRadio
RT @AnuBhagwati: .@servicewomen Join #VoicesfromWar & @VetArtistProg to celebrate veterans & the arts! NOV 8, 7pm. http://t.co/b3avnocoXw v…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Here's more on Dan Abramson's yoga for bros & military vets toy soldier yogis: https://t.co/G1EsIk4WYp @servicewomen #GIYo
RT @AnuBhagwati: This is for veterans who've been exploring yoga. GI yogi? I dig these toy soldiers: http://t.co/4C6WbDpqmh @servicewomen @…
RT @IAVAPressRoom: . @redbookmag's November issue is dedicated to helping female veterans. Read here: http://t.co/y9faXMS3Az #newvets
Fort Bragg leaders discuss ways to curb domestic violence; coincides with Nt'l #DomesticViolenceAwareness Month http://t.co/bvzC1gDF5G
RT @AnuBhagwati: Troops sacrifice life and limb but Congress wants to ban them from smoking? Move on, already. @politico http://t.co/MdlH2U…
Sen McCaskill discusses sex assault at #Mizzou: policy changes aren't enough, a change in campus culture is vital http://t.co/Lszee1KLKR
#Senate confirms Gen Lori Robinson as 4 star commander of all #AirForce forces in the Pacific theater #yesallwomen http://t.co/ZF9o8qa0hb
RT @LeoShane: .@RepJeffMiller: "VA appears to be giving failing executives an opportunity to quit, retire or find new jobs without conseque…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Re-inspired after meeting with Veterans Legal Services Clinic students at @YaleLawSch So happy to see #veterans enrolled t…
RT @bkesling: VA ousts more senior executives. It's unclear whether they're being fired...or will be allowed to resign. @WSJ http://t.co/0…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Barriers to women's retention hurts the military. The Arrival of the Female 4-Stars: http://t.co/wjWsJQYOWo via @kwilliams
RT @AnuBhagwati: Great to see these Army sisters rocking the business world. http://t.co/pvgfIO4GQB via @USATODAY @reporterjoe @servicewome
RT @AnuBhagwati: Speaking soon at Yale Law School about the challenges & triumphs of changing military and veterans culture @servicewomen
RT @AnuBhagwati: Can't wait to speak to students, veterans & activists at @YaleLawSch tmrw about the journey of making national culture cha…
Successes, Challenges of Women in Combat; leaders exploring avenues to broaden career opps for #womenincombat http://t.co/ZBtqM23ZCD
#Navy announces enlisted #women to begin serving on submarines http://t.co/H5Fp2fRzYV
RT @JessicaValenti: Gov. Cuomo mandates "yes means yes" standard for SUNYs. Amazing! http://t.co/wa9C6e9uDc
RT @nikiinthehouse: Oct. is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to reflect on our cumulative responsibility to prevent & respond to d…
RT @ArielaMigdal: 3 women pass Marine Corps combat endurance test at IOC http://t.co/yMf96dl3zJ But still won't be allowed in Infantry. #Wo
A moment of silence for Private Danny Chen will be held tomorrow at 6:15pm. More information http://t.co/FFgWYAE49k #Justice4DannyChen
RT @gregjacob01: .@USMC Col in charge of @MCASMiramarCA Inspector General office fired for sexual misconduct http://t.co/LTndowDHMX @servic
RT @claudiamyers: @servicewomen women vets are often overlooked in film. Check out @FortBlissMovie @realmonaghan & why it's making news htt…
RT @DanLamothe: Exclusive: Army general, accused of sexual assault in Djibouti by senior adviser, retired quietly with demotion http://t.co…
#Hagel: #Military Medical System 'Average', but "we cannot accept average" #fixVA http://t.co/eRObaZPP49 via @ABC
Reports of sexual assault rise across #UC system: indication that widespread protests are having an impact. #titleIX http://t.co/qWnvI3bc6V
RT @BreaktheCycleDV: It's National Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Let survivors know you're standing by them #voiceshavepower http://t…
RT @TaskandPurpose: 5 Reasons Every Service Member Should Be Writing About Their Military Service | http://t.co/d0KsQYBxLZ
Study shows #vets who identify as lesbian or bisexual may have higher risk of alcohol misuse http://t.co/nXyzkl752m
"For women to have a #Ranger tab...says a lot about her ability” says SWANs @gregjacob01 http://t.co/267bosmVD1
RT @NYMetroVets: A message to #veterans in #NYC from new #MOVA Commissioner Loree Sutton: http://t.co/YKedD1qiAq
RT @AnuBhagwati: If the NFL is consulting the DoD about how to handle domestic violence, I am not optimistic. http://t.co/vtVxnPxMf7 @servi
RT @BloombergNews: New Jersey female lawmakers call on NFL owners to fire Commissioner Roger Goodell: http://t.co/IeE3RX4rWp
RT @Invisible_War: "We will win this battle." Thank you @SenGillibrand for fighting to #passMJIA. Together, we are #NotInvisible http://t.c…
RT @AnuBhagwati: So misleading. Title 9 doesn't apply to Academies. MT @militarytimes USNA joins 'It's On Us' campaign http://t.co/VFeFcdaS…
RT @AnuBhagwati: @kwilliams101 @vetshelpingvets Great to see this event! And, we need to support more women of color veteran writers. @serv
RT @AnuBhagwati: .@azbrodsky rocks it re: Title IX & campus assault. Can Pt 2 cover lack of T9 at Academies? @MHPshow @servicewomen http://…
#CoastGuard boosts efforts to tackle sexual assault reports http://t.co/XnV3jGgh8m
Why Is The Military Getting Involved In The NFL’s Domestic Violence Scandal? via @TaskandPurpose http://t.co/eeNjcw6boD
.@kwilliams101 addresses role of women in #military: "women can be significant force multipliers" #combatintegration http://t.co/on58DOVDsY
Women in #Ranger School: New details, application deadlines #USArmy http://t.co/u1zCWO9sHA
RT @AnuBhagwati: Word. @TrumanProject veterans take on Fox News re: "Boobs on the Ground" http://t.co/V30JY5yqks @servicewomen
#Senate Dems demand #VA disability for sexual assault victims #battleforbenefits http://t.co/1Vws7YelEv
Study examines #servicewomen's reporting of sexual assault in the #military #passMJIA http://t.co/PrZuFlRyAR
#Army: It's good news that sexual assault reports are up.... but still ways to go #passMJIA http://t.co/CHWT2wZVQx
RT @AnuBhagwati: Huge TY to Sen @MarkUdall for urging @WhiteHouse to pressure VA on Military Sexual Trauma claims regs. @servicewomen http:…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenGillibrand for supporting veterans. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need urgent reform. @servicewomen http:…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenStabenow for supporting our veterans. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need reform now. @servicewomen http:/…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenBennetCO for supporting our veterans. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need reform now. @servicewomen http:/…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenatorHeitkamp for your support. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need urgent reform. @servicewomen http://t.c…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenatorBaldwin for your support. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need urgent reform. @servicewomen http://t.co…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY @SenatorBoxer for having our backs. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need urgent reform. @servicewomen http://t.…
RT @AnuBhagwati: TY Sen @MariaCantwell for your support. VA's Military Sexual Trauma claims regs need reform now. @servicewomen http://t.co…
Senators send letter to #POTUS in response to #VA rejecting 2nd petition made by SWAN and @VVAmerica on #MST-#PTSD http://t.co/9oELTuzsiz
RT @AmericanLegion: Via @ajc: Complaints of retaliation against VA whistleblowers more than doubled in recent months. http://t.co/INDvQ4WV…
7 Ways #Women #Veterans Have It Worse Than Our Men in Uniform #longform http://t.co/VimQ9iNGPf via @TakePart
#Army Drill Sergeant Found Guilty of Sex Assaults http://t.co/rDIXaEkOnq via @ABC
The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is now accepting nominations for their Annual Awards Program. More info: http://t.co/IcR0jXxQuX
#Army guardsman: Superior said more sexual assault reports could threaten graduation #passMJIA http://t.co/TLPTE87gRa via @STLtoday
Female #veterans feel left behind as services haven't kept pace #fixVA http://t.co/wtpVNTOJ8J via @WSJ
RT @Yahoo: The first Hindu congresswoman is also a combat veteran, and its best surfer: http://t.co/qzednK3m8j @TulsiGabbard http://t.co/TV…
#US #Military Three Years After ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ #DADTrepeal #equality http://t.co/pN7wr9KJb8
#LGBT military families still face challenges three years after repeal of '#Don’tAskDon’tTell' http://t.co/JudGszzOlu via @LGBTWeekly
RT @Invisible_War: We are #NotInvisible RT: @servicewomen Ft. Leonard Wood court-martial highlights sex crisis in military #passMJIA http:/…
The #NFL, the #Military, and the Problem With Masculine Institutions #passMJIA http://t.co/1PSgF5q4yU
#Navy has the talk...about sex...and respect, revamps its policies on reporting, investigating and prosecuting #MSA http://t.co/dAHEloSyEK
Serving #female #vets: continuing change will require shift in understanding what it means to be part of #military http://t.co/N3G61lorey
Ft. Leonard Wood court-martial highlights sex crisis in military #passMJIA http://t.co/xI0cf4EYzh via @STLtoday
RT @AnuBhagwati: Thrilled @WhiteHouse is mobilizing against campus assault; but seems to be a front for NOT mobilizing on military assault.…
Women’s legacy parallels #AirForce history #combatintegration http://t.co/osxvO6ELlZ
RT @Invisible_War: We deserve better RT: @FemMajority report shows that military investigators don't follow police standards for #MSA: http…
RT @SECNAV: More Coastal Riverine Positions Open to Women - http://t.co/X6smReBnWW #PeopleMatter

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.