Rep. Andy Barr introduces bill to help military sex assault victims
Congressman Andy Barr introduced legislation Friday that would give victims of military sexual assault more options for treatment.
The Military Sexual Assault Victim Empowerment Act, otherwise known as the Military SAVE Act is aimed at giving victims for options for treatment.
Congressman Barr, along with other state leaders announced the measure during a news conference Friday morning in Frankfort.
It would allow victims of military sexual trauma to seek treatment outside the VA system in some regions of the country.
The Military Save Act creates a three-year pilot project at five different VA districts across the country. Military officials would then study how the program affected MST survivors in those areas. Congressman Barr says, if the legislation passes, the Lexington VA stands a good chance of being part of that pilot project.
"We want that immediate choice to empower survivors of MST to get the best care that they've earned regardless of whether it's a VA provider or non-VA provider," Congressman Barr said.
"It is not a partisan issue and is simply the right thing to do. And it's never too late to do the right thing," Dep. Comm. Heather French-Henry of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs said.
The measure will be included in the upcoming comprehensive VA Reform Bill, which is expected to have its first hearing next month.
One in 5 female veterans and 1 in 100 male vets screen positive for military sexual trauma. Currently, only a few exceptions are made for those wanting MST treatment outside the VA system.