RT @TaskandPurpose: The executive director of @servicewomen is breaking down legal barriers for women in the military | http://t.co/gwpFUN7…
President Obama, Stand With Victims of Sexual Assault and Fix the Broken Military Justice System http://t.co/VZdpf85Usf via @HuffPostPol
Want to see to real changes in the lives of service women? Tell us what is important to you! https://t.co/6o2X6niAwR
Could #Obama choose a woman as next #Defense secretary? "This would be a huge step forward," says SWAN's @anubhagwati http://t.co/brGxg7m5v5
RT @AnuBhagwati: POTUS needs to consider welfare of service women in nominating a new SecDef. #CombatIntegration #MilitaryJustice @servicew
RT @starsandstripes: Pres. @BarackObama is currently speaking about #Hagel's resignation as Secretary of Defense. Visit http://t.co/pceJ0RA…
Test run suggests women can meet #Army #Ranger standards http://t.co/OAioNICMIZ via @usatoday
RT @gregjacob01: @TaskandPurpose A much needed step: Friday, @VFWHQ changed its charter to include women http://t.co/Uz147tkSWb @servicewom
RT @gregjacob01: Not your typical #internship: Fast-paced cutting edge work driving change for @servicewomen and women #veterans: http://t.…
SWAN is looking for #interns in our #DC office - see http://t.co/pQhy9d9Vkp for more information!
Final barriers to #women joining #combat units will fall over the next 12 months http://t.co/jigXA12WwU
Congresswoman @RepCorrineBrown Elected Ranking Member on House Committee of Veterans' Affairs http://t.co/y6uptPcXv1
SWAN is looking for a Policy & Legislative #intern in our #DC office! Find more information here: http://t.co/8HO7e6PJwe
#AirForce working on plans to allow #women to compete for last 7 male-only jobs in the service #combatintegration http://t.co/r2dSewT9vp
#Hagel Visits Female #Marines Training for Combat Roles http://t.co/f0UVFCLcXV via @Militarydotcom
Hagel views integration of #women into combat units as civil rights issue #combatintegration http://t.co/nJEbjz9Epn
Want to have a hand in helping service women? Help shape the future of SWAN's advocacy by sharing your thoughts: https://t.co/6o2X6niAwR
RT @gregjacob01: @usairforce Sec hopes 100% of Air Force jobs will be open to women in a year and a half http://t.co/0fFtTbUgtm @servicewom
Judge asks how many jobs are still off limits to women and whether DoD will meet SecDef's 2016 deadline for integrating #WomenInCombat.
Women #Veterans Face Uphill Battle to Get Health Care #fixVA #battleforbenefits http://t.co/ai2XZW8ZfQ
New training will ask #Marines to question their unconscious gender biases as combat jobs open to #women http://t.co/sit15WlkTl
Want to have a hand in helping service women? Help shape the future of SWAN's advocacy by sharing your thoughts: https://t.co/6o2X6niAwR
#Female #Navy #Vet suffers #military sexual trauma, finds comfort in comedy http://t.co/pufbqxmzoS via @kpcc
'Blame-The-Victim' Culture May Discourage #Female #Vets From Seeking Help For Trauma http://t.co/sj2LE4Z44M via @HuffPostWomen
Here’s What Happened During One Survivor's Military Sexual Harassment Investigation http://t.co/732IVYDq13 via @alivingiano @buzzfeednews
RT @gregjacob01: My latest piece on the status of gender integration in the #military. http://t.co/cXVycjylpx (via @DefenseOne) @servicewo
RT @womenjustice: To learn more about @CornellLaw @ACLU @servicewomen @equalitynow @MilitaryRape submission to UN Committee, visit http://t…
RT @HuffPostLive: Unemployment rates for women veterans, the future of women in combat and more #WMN http://t.co/QvYVSzdT2F
We want to hear from you! Take the SWAN Community Survey here: https://t.co/pdIJnIJ8av
RT @gregjacob01: Future #SASC chair @SenJohnMcCain supports @#WomenInCombat. "Why should we debate this anymore?" http://t.co/B1gKW3goFd @s
RT @gregjacob01: First woman to lead @AmericanLegion says #military should "stop sweeping sexual assaults under the rug" http://t.co/yrLEMy…
RT @AnuBhagwati: Dear veterans: may be you safe and protected, happy and healthy, and may you live with ease and joy, on this and every day…
RT @womenjustice: After filing a petition to the IACHR on behalf of 20 survivors, the Center continues to highlight the issue of #mst at th…
SWAN honors all who have served and currently serve: http://t.co/8A6OVbNqaD
Michelle Obama cheers on women #veterans http://t.co/zSqgXpR930 via @navytimes
RT @ArielaMigdal: Happy Birthday to #MarineCorps. Will this be the year you officially recognize women as Infantry Marines? #marinesbirthda
RT @jacqklimas: Did you miss #VA Secretary McDonald on @60Minutes last night? You can see the interview here: http://t.co/ElruVzSvTy
RT @asharding: @jobean_1964 @servicewomen Health concerns women vets face, as well as issues with access to medical care.
RT @asharding: @servicewomen Seeking women veterans to interview for an article I'm writing for Everyday Health. Please respond if interest…
RT @LizLuras: A Losing Battle How the Army denies veterans justice without anyone knowing http://t.co/5Y0uEQgUjI via @AnuBhagwati @servicew
RT @TaskandPurpose: American Legion appointing its first female executive director in its 100-year history: http://t.co/8olJhJaxId
SAPRO Survey: "gathering information from trauma survivors, you need to be extremely sensitive" says @anubhagwati http://t.co/0ZkHNT4wyX
Results not clear in Retired @USAF Colonel @MarthaMcSally race. She was 1st American woman to fly in combat after women in combat ban lifted
1st woman veteran elected to U.S. Senate! Currently, serving as Lieutenant Colonel in Iowa @USNationalGuard, @JoniErnst won Iowa Senate seat
1st female Iraq combat #womanveteran in Congress and @USArmy helicopter pilot @RepDuckworth reelected to Illinois 8th District!
Hawaii Incumbent @USNationalGuard Captain @TulsiGabbard, has won reelection in Hawaii's 2nd District!
In #Midterms2014, 3 of 13 #servicewomen and #womenveterans secure a seat at the table. 1 race still too close to call.
RT @AnuBhagwati: Huge news: @AmericanLegion appoints its 1st woman exec director. http://t.co/EEr3ejR8OM @servicewomen @VVAmerica is only o…
Female soldiers at Fort Bragg training for possible chance to tackle #Army #Ranger Course #combatintegration http://t.co/xn2LGrrjCf
We're looking forward to hearing the latest on women veterans healthcare and benefits today from VA Secretary Bob McDonald & @DeptVetAffairs
RT @AnuBhagwati: h/t @servicewomen : great summary of women veterans. present and past, running for elected office. http://t.co/opuUzkAdm8
RT @SarahEvonne: @servicewomen At @GuardianUS we want to hear from vets for a special feature. Can you help us? http://t.co/dps8ms9ZiZ
#SAPRO Survey Draws Complaints, DoD said survey more explicit & detailed this year for more accurate result #passMJIA http://t.co/XJvx28Oa0T
RT @NOW_NYC: Gen Loree Sutton, NYC Comm of #Veterans Affairs with @AnuBhagwati. You are an inspiration to all of us @NOW_NYC. http://t.co/W…
RT @HuffingtonPost: Vet homelessness drops 33% since 2010 http://t.co/Zx4q6fa68S
RT @gregjacob01: Congrats to @servicewomen's @AnuBhagwati for receiving the Susan B Anthony award from @NOW_NYC. #SBA2014 http://t.co/FFyxP…
RT @ATRWibben: @servicewomen I'm hoping you can help me spread the word about a series sof events we are putting on in SF - see #PJSVetConv
Watch: Full report on Eric Thomas & #AirForce Academy Sexual Assault #titleIX http://t.co/Qog1CEyCj6 via @ABC
RT @AnuBhagwati: Join @NOW_NYC and @servicewomen tonight for the Susan B Anthony awards! Can't wait to see you! http://t.co/N4NfyD47R9 #car
.@servicewomen stands with campus students carrying the weight to end sexual & domestic violence. #carrythatweight http://t.co/QeR8o3iOsl
Help #CarryThatWeight, by standing up to sexual assault and supporting survivors. More Info: http://t.co/tnPXABcSWV
Join us tomorrow to honor SWAN's Anu Bhagwati at NOW NYC's Susan B. Anthony award ceremony, RSVP here: http://t.co/83b2Ic5xhz
"Advocates are hopeful that the #VA is dedicated to improving services for female #vets" = more work to be done http://t.co/XMqYTlZqkH
3 pioneering women who qualified for #Marine Infantry Officers Course were physically disqualified last week http://t.co/NslA22HhPv
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

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.