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Sexual Trauma

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LeroyJohnson

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If a female veteran experienced sexual trauma while on active duty and did not report it but hid the fact that it ever happened even from her husband have a chance of winning a claim for ptsd. this happened to her after serving in the army for 6 years she got out in 1979 because of the incident. Her marriage ended shortly after her discharge. She has suffered in silence since that time .I would like to help her but don't have a clue as to where to begin. There is nothing in her records about it and even now she is not trusting of anyone. She never knew who her attacker was. Please help if you can

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Did she confide in a friend or relative via letter or seek outside help.

Did she begin to perform poorly in her job. I was attacked but shut it out because I feared the retribution. Lets face it who would belive you?

I did write a congressional during the same time frame. She can win just have to have supporting evidence from friends counselors even her ex husband.

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Thank you for your reply. She shut herself off from almost every one for about 18 years.She has had very few jobs keeps to herself.She confided in no one at the time as she put it in the seventies people seemed to think somehow it was your own fault. She has since that time confided in her current husband and her sister in law and my wife who also had something of the same happen to her when she was in basic but my wife never told any one either.

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I read an old BVA case where the veterans wife testified that her husband had gone through some changes when he was in the military. The claim was for an aggravated assault. The PTSD was awarded. When I went before a DRO in 2003 he told me that if the assault was not reported and there was not a report written up by the police at the time, he would not award the claim. This was odd because I had a VA psychologist and Psychiatrist make a diagnosis of PTSD based on secondary evidence of a stressor noted in multiple medical reports written in the military. Secondary evidence of a stressor was listed in the M-21 at that time. Now, Sometimes these guys cop an attitude that can be appealed at the BVA. In my case it did not matter because at the time I had multiple diagnoses and got 100% on the others.

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3) If a post-traumatic stress disorder claim is based on in-service personal assault, evidence from sources other than the veteran's service records may corroborate the veteran's account of the stressor incident. Examples of such evidence include, but are not limited to: records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians; pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases; and statements from family members, roommates, fellow service members, or clergy. Evidence of behavior changes following the claimed assault is one type of relevant evidence that may be found in these sources. Examples of behavior changes that may constitute credible evidence of the stressor include, but are not limited to: a request for a transfer to another military duty assignment; deterioration in work performance; substance abuse; episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause; or unexplained economic or social behavior changes. VA will not deny a post-traumatic stress disorder claim that is based on in-service personal assault without first advising the claimant that evidence from sources other than the veteran's service records or evidence of behavior changes may constitute credible supporting evidence of the stressor and allowing him or her the opportunity to furnish this type of evidence or advise VA of potential sources of such evidence. VA may submit any evidence that it receives to an appropriate medical or mental health professional for an opinion as to whether it indicates that a personal assault occurred.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 1154

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