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cheeseheadveteran

Va Ignores Sexual Assaults

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The VA has seriously made the news recently in regards to sexual assaults that happen at VA hospitals throughout the United States. The GAO investigation has discovered a culture of denial and deliberate attempts to ignore sexual assaults that occur at VA facilities. This is pretty embarrassing for the VA, and horrendously shocking to victims of sexual assault. I posted a link to an article that explains what is going on, and then I posted the links to the congressional hearings about the VA ignoring sexual assaults.

VA IGNORES ASSAULTS:

http://www.militarytimes.com/community/opinion/military-va-assaults-editorial-062711/

Preventing Sexual Assaults and Safety Incidents at U.S. Department

of Veterans Affairs Facilities:

http://veterans.house.gov/hearing/preventing-sexual-assaults-and-safety-incidents-us-department-veterans-affairs-facilities#

Opening Statement By Hon. Ann Marie Buerkle, Chairwoman,

Subcommittee on Health, and a Representative in Congress from the State of New York:

"Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a deeply troubling report entitled "VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Prevent Sexual Assaults and Other Safety Incidents." GAO found that between January 2007 and July 2010, nearly 300 sexual assault incidents, including 67 alleged rapes, were reported to VA police. Many of these alleged crimes were not

reported to VA leadership officials or the VA Office of the Inspector General, in direct violation of VA policy and federal regulations. "

Prepared Statement of Randall B. Williamson, Director, Health Care, U.S. Government Accountability

Office:

"What GAO Found"

GAO found that many of the nearly 300 sexual assault incidents reported to the VA police were not reported to VA leadership officials and the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Specifically, for the four VISNs GAO spoke with, VISN and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Central Office officials did not receive reports of most sexual assault incidents reported to the VA police. Also, nearly two-thirds of sexual assault incidents involving rape allegations originating in VA facilities were not reported to the VA OIG, as required by VA regulation.

GAO identified several factors that may contribute to the underreporting of sexual assault incidents. For example, VHA lacks a consistent sexual assault definition for reporting purposes and clear expectations for incident reporting across its medical facility, VISN, and VHA Central Office levels. Furthermore, VHA Central Office lacks oversight mechanisms to monitor sexual assault incidents reported through the management reporting stream.

VA medical facilities GAO visited used a variety of precautions intended to prevent sexual assaults and other safety incidents. However, GAO found some of these measures were deficient, compromising medical facilities' efforts to prevent sexual assaults and other safety incidents. For example, medical facilities used physical security precautions—such as closed-circuit surveillance cameras to actively monitor areas and locks and alarms to secure key areas. These physical precautions were intended to prevent a broad range of safety incidents, including sexual assaults. However, GAO found significant weaknesses in the implementation of these physical security precautions at the five VA medical facilities visited, including poor monitoring of surveillance cameras, alarm system malfunctions, and the failure of alarms to alert both VA police and clinical staff when triggered. Inadequate system configuration and testing procedures contributed to these weaknesses. Further, facility officials at most of the locations GAO visited said the VA police were understaffed. (See table below.) Such weaknesses could lead to

delayed response times to incidents and seriously erode VA's efforts to prevent or mitigate sexual assaults and other safety incidents."

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" . . . GAO found that many of the nearly 300 sexual assault incidents reported to the VA police were not reported to VA leadership officials and the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Specifically, for the four VISNs GAO spoke with, VISN and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Central Office officials did not receive reports of most sexual assault incidents reported to the VA police. Also, nearly two-thirds of sexual assault incidents involving rape allegations originating in VA facilities were not reported to the VA OIG, as required by VA regulation."

PLEASE, whenever possible take a friend with you to the VAMC. Insist there be a female (or opposite sex) nurse or attendent with you when you are being examined. Insist that examination doors are left OPEN, so that you may call for help. Report ALL medical misconduct in Writing! Save a copy of any report you filed. To think that, in a medical setting --where we are supposed to feel safe and cared about ... that we must take all precations is a sad and sickening reality. But do it anyway!! ~Wings

Edited by Wings

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Adora,

Good to see you post !

Hope you are doing great :-)

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I talked to my local VVA chapter and tried to get them to at least to an informational picket at the VARO or VAMC. There are so many abuses at the VA including poor medical care. They seem to think everything about the VA is just great. Change must come from the grassroots and that is us. Vets seem so apathetic about asserting their rights in person. This is a little off topic but until the VA fears us a little the abuse goes on and on.

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