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Mikulski introduces military sexual assault legislation

By Christina Jedra | The Capital, Annapolis, Md. | Published: February 12, 2016

Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Thursday the introduction of a bill that would give military sexual assault survivors more control of their health care, according to a news release from Mikulski's office.

The Military Sexual Assault Victims Empowerment (SAVE) Act would allow service members to seek care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs if their VA provider does not meet their needs, the release states.

"This enables (military sexual trauma) survivors to find a trusted provider who has the specialized training and expertise to care for these complex and sensitive cases," the release states.

Mikulski, a member of the Senate Military Family Caucus, said the legislation is bipartisan.

"Victims may suffer lasting trauma, prejudice and overwhelming obstacles, and it is our duty to provide them with a reliable health care system that can assist their needs," she said. "Promises made must be promises kept."

Mikulski, a Democrat, introduced the legislation with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). It is co-sponsored by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the release states.

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The services have not clearly depicted male victims of sexual assault in outreach material intended to increase awareness because the DOD has focused mostly on female victims, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
Government Accountability Office

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