The Argument For #WomenInCombat Should Be About Mission Effectiveness via @TaskandPurpose http://t.co/SjbdT4Pzmd
#Pentagon push for equality gets murky: "this academy stuff is still shrouded in mystery" says SWAN's @gregjacob01 http://t.co/Z6dG9u05tP
Leadership Lessons From One Of The First Female Fighter Pilots #womenincombat http://t.co/7BK6Y765ph
RT @PARC_Team: We Must Close the Military Sex-Offender Loophole @servicewomen @OutServeSLDN @MilitaryRape @SenGilibrand @SurvJustice http:/…
Listen from NPR: #Apache Helicopter Pilot To Join Other Women At #Army Ranger School #womenincombat http://t.co/BNRpUqeqLS
Read our recent legislative updates: http://t.co/N7LXSHZul9
White House open to lifting transgender ban http://t.co/i4bIsceUwF via @POLITICO
4 female Marines test combat standards http://t.co/rrCi6DvTvC via @utsandiego
Former SEAL Robert O’Neill answered “absolutely” when asked whether women can meet demands of warriors #womenincombat http://t.co/QNRVA99Arj
Defense Secretary Carter: #Transgender People Shouldn't Be Denied #Military Service http://t.co/USxEiqGhbo
RT @gregjacob01: I'll be in NYC tomorrow at the @NYCBarAssnNews w/some other great folks talking military sexual assault @servicewomen http…
RT @TaskandPurpose: Several servicewomen share their advice and experiences from their time in the military. http://t.co/Yi7Shfzmrd
RT @nytpolitics: Military veterans in Congress like Tulsi Gabbard bring rare perspective to war debate http://t.co/yMoMwJmDC2 http://t.co/5…
‘Alcohol Is A Weapon’ — Inside The Military’s New Tactic To Combat Sexual Assault via @TaskandPurpose http://t.co/2kV6VTZDAE
Lawmakers press #AshCarter to address sexual assault in the #military #passMJIA http://t.co/q3SqcGoOfI
Chronology: Women's long history in the #military #womenincombat http://t.co/dlhyBSHzIj
Jimmy Carter: Women's rights the fight of my life, going to be the highest priority http://t.co/mB46xLHMF4
Hummel selected by Gov Walker to be Alaska’s adjutant general & commissioner of the Dept of Military and Vets Affairs http://t.co/P87vgkQzue
@military_family thank you for the love!
More work to do at the #Military Service Academies: http://t.co/CzRdPipJwb
#VA reaches out to MST survivors via #Facebook http://t.co/VRrDxDQAMk
RT @mollymotoole: .@RepMikeTurner @nikiinthehouse & 51 others urge "Secretary Carter" to focus on mil sex assaults (not confirmed yet) http…
Sexual assault reports up @ Naval Academy: "doesn't reflect very well on climate & culture" says SWAN's @gregjacob1 http://t.co/9LofRJxk6c
RT @gregjacob01: .@servicewomen supported bill by Sen @PattyMurray would expand fertility services for injured troops and women vets. http:…
SWAN responds to #DoD Sexual Assault report, Service Academies hostile climate, improvements inconsistent: http://t.co/8bBQxncuwK
#Pentagon Report: Fewer Reported Sex Assaults at #Military Academies http://t.co/EFzoOjbiwO
#Military lawyers lose the 'good soldier' defense; #Congress restricted using military character evidence http://t.co/VLSnwII2Ar
The bill would open doors for #servicewomen to gain the best healthcare available, said SWANs interim CEO Erica Hunt http://t.co/y5lK83kQQi
Congress Pushes to Improve Female Troops' Access to Birth Control http://t.co/4xFADvqVfm
Blowing down barriers: Female first sergeant takes charge of combat engineer company #womenincombat http://t.co/g62cgVRINa
In a historic first, five women qualify for #Army Ranger School #womenincombat http://t.co/KYxNU3pQ7i
#Dem bill would give troops access to birth control and counseling with no health insurance copay http://t.co/ewJmi9iOtH
RT @gregjacob01: .@servicewomen supported #military reproductive health bill introduced in House and Senate. http://t.co/ZIt2CH7qGb
SWAN & @ACLU sue over release of military school admissions, claim women discriminated http://t.co/A6mAcrJIZl
WATCH: #AshCarter addresses #military sexual assault, retaliation http://t.co/GKu8ST4SkX via @PostTV
.@SenGillibrand: "the military is still failing to live up to their 'zero-tolerance' policy" #AshCarter #passMJIA
RT @cspan: .@sengillibrand questions Defense Secretary Nominee Carton on Sexual Assaults in the Military http://t.co/O3vk5ffSRu http://t.co…
RT @gregjacob01: .@servicewomen's policy priorities being discussed during the #SecDef confirmation. Now #AshCarter must take the lead http…
RT @nikiinthehouse: My joint bipartisan statement w @RepMikeTurner @louiseslaughter urging Sen & Ash Carter to prioritize #MST prevention h…
#Military assault oversight sought; pushing the #DoD to add military sex offenders to registries http://t.co/8DslxdTogS
Here's why there isn't a single woman on this #military 'modernization' panel http://t.co/JKIPwfvsvU
RT @ArielaMigdal: Service Women's Action Network v. Department of Defense -- https://t.co/AOZWaeKQSA @aclu We filed this case today with @…
"Underrepresentation of women at service academies contrasts w/ wide range of opportunities for womens leadership" http://t.co/5mwNTNpPMJ
RT @gregjacob01: Today, @servicewomen and the @ACLU sued the DOD for info on women's admission rates and policies at the mil academies http…
@ACLU & SWAN sue Defense Department for Naval Academy records on female midshipmen http://t.co/eRRDaTV1HV
Alcohol redefined as 'weapon' in sexual assault cases by prosecutors, #military officials http://t.co/SX73QM1BSI via @po_st
We seek a highly skilled, dynamic executive director to shepherd SWAN to the next level of its important work: http://t.co/t6ATHXZt9D
RT @TSNE: New Executive Search: Executive Director, Service Women's Action Network @servicewomen http://t.co/hQxha3q2lk #military #veterans
#Military Sexual Assault Survivors Must Fight for Disability Benefits #passMJIA #fixtheVA http://t.co/hQ2ulQMsks via @rhrealitycheck
Veterans advocates: Stop the #VA 'hamster wheel' disability appeals process #fixtheVA http://t.co/GdYeX67wQn
#Vet suicide prevention bill, #ClayHunt SAV Act, moves forward in Senate http://t.co/YPul1no2yS
RT @HuffPostPol: Transgender, bisexual individuals recognized for the first time ever in a State of the Union speech http://t.co/GjdunMHZnK
POTUS: "If you want the job done right, hire a #veteran" #SOTU
RT @sandrapark: The #SOTU for military women made great strides due to @AnuBhagwati @servicewomen - TY for leadership and friendship! http:…
Watch now: POTUS #SOTU address → http://t.co/0oeKkaGZAP
SWAN's dedicated founder @AnuBhagwati bids farewell: http://t.co/bceUOBm2P9
#Hagel urges that sexual assault cases stay within the #military command structure http://t.co/8crPSK4iaT via @WSJ
#Hagel Criticizes #Military’s Culture Of Retaliating Against People Who Report Sexual Assault http://t.co/he66BiEWLh
"The school is what qualifies you..no excuse why the Army should keep those jobs closed to women" says @gregjacob01 http://t.co/xCNYUTGw2Z
How #military sex offenders fly under the radar after returning to civilian life http://t.co/XPwC4aaQga via @NewsHour
Women in Ranger course: "crucial for gender integration, including in infantry & elite units" says SWANs @gregjacob01 http://t.co/6mv68OwGCN
Philly #VA program rewards employees with cash, food for deciding cases quickly http://t.co/HtoIBJlHwY
Why More #Women Need To Share Their #Military Experiences via @TaskandPurpose http://t.co/i7jqQBi1iy
RT @AnuBhagwati: Please remember if you need to speak to someone about the loss of another veteran, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Terry Young attended the 2013 SWAN Summit on Military Sexual Violence. Please keep Terry and her loved ones in your hearts…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Sending my deepest sympathy and condolences to family and friends of veteran Terry Young, whom we recently lost to suicide…
RT @ATRWibben: Human Rights Watch (@HRW) wants to speak to #military #sexualassault victims who faced reprisals (h/t @servicewomen) http://…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Check out Connecticut Veterans Legal Center's new Howard R. Udell Fellowship in Veterans’ Justice: https://t.co/GzRO9j38vf…
Fighting an entrenched culture on sexual assault in the #military http://t.co/x5hsGLOLTN #passMJIA
RT @gregjacob01: Longtime ally and champion for @servicewomen issues @SenatorBoxer announces retirement in 2016. http://t.co/CTE57SgUpk
Changes in 2015 NDAA grant additional protections for victims and revamp admin & legal procedures #passMJIA http://t.co/pFUyAhgPmu
.@SenGillibrand gears up for another round: in talks with the Democratic and Republican senators #passMJIA http://t.co/4AhGbHJTwC
Veterans discharged after sexual trauma push for #VA health benefits http://t.co/2zzNr1HHGu #fixtheVA
.@SenGillibrand determined to force change in #military justice system, but it's an uphill battle http://t.co/c2zdx2WxT1
#USArmy New webpage allows vets with PTSD to apply for discharge upgrade http://t.co/kMXS9vFxPX
RT @AnuBhagwati: Grateful @washingtonpost covered the battle for VA sexual trauma benefits & @servicewomen / @VVAmerica's lawsuit: http://t…
Not every GI is a Joe! #VA works to help growing number of female #veterans http://t.co/CM37gtKkCF
The Mighty 25: Veterans Poised To Make A Difference In 2015 http://t.co/FAp5KDnIXU via @WeAreTheMighty
RT @Militarydotcom: Pentagon Could Make Combat Action Badge Retroactive to World War II: http://t.co/MLlqYNUMPL http://t.co/Y8IOnt2wKQ
Thank you so much to everyone who shared comments for the White House about what the President needs to know about military sexual assault.
Col. @MarthaMcSally prevails over Barber in recount http://t.co/mKdR3ZRdQN via @azcentral
From Deborah Sampson to Joni Ernst: Women veterans make their mark http://t.co/cZLKugeUCO
SWAN is looking for #interns in both our #NYC and #DC offices! See http://t.co/8HO7e6PJwe for more info!
Critics say progress on #military sex assaults is an illusion http://t.co/8Uvmtt0hMC
SWAN's @anubhagwati discusses #military sex offenders not on public registries on @mhpshow http://t.co/xIQ65HvYH0
RT @AnuBhagwati: Tune into @MHPshow tmrw morning to catch me and @greenblattmark talking sex offender registries and military sexual assaul…
We are getting incredible input from military sexual assault survivors on social media--please keep it up. #whitehousesilence
RT @starsandstripes: Report: 12 sailors implicated in submarine shower scandal http://t.co/SZRiszPmuC @USNavy
RT @AnuBhagwati: Dear military sexual assault survivors: if you had one question or comment for the @WhiteHouse, what would you say? @servi
RT @gregjacob01: .@servicewomen's comm director Barbara Brown has a nephew graduating from @USNavy boot camp today. Congrats to the new sai…
RT @jaylemeux: My article calling for an end to the ban on #transgender military service: http://t.co/thJAqOhxa0 #lgbt @servicewomen
Gillibrand's Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill Is Shot Down Again http://t.co/j7qxT5J8bC via @HuffPostPol
#Gillibrand's #Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill Is Shot Down Again http://t.co/j7qxT5J8bC via @HuffPostPol
RT @AnuBhagwati: Air Force Sec'y supports lifting the ban on transgender service: http://t.co/gLaGG52bGZ h/t @gregjacob01 @servicewomen @al
SWAN is looking for #interns in both our #NYC and #DC offices! See http://t.co/8HO7e6PJwe for more info!
Male #Military Sex Assault Survivors Slow to Report http://t.co/IxnGPfvfvO via @ABC
RT @SenGillibrand: Eye-opening read from @AnuBhagwati, Exec. Dir. of @Servicewomen & former @USMC Captain, on military sexual assault: http…
Report on Sexual Assault in the #Military Draws Criticism http://t.co/wA7Q9TG76Z
The Invisible President: How Obama's Ignored Military Sexual Assault #WhereAreYou @anubhagwati http://t.co/prADZ7YsVN
RT @gregjacob01: Update on new body armor for #WomenInCombat, a change championed by Rep Tsongas. http://t.co/wkbWAvUELy @nikiinthehouse @s

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.