Veterans who suffered sexual trauma while in the service can receive counseling and disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA defines sexual trauma as any lingering physical, emotional, psychological symptoms resulting from a physical assault of a sexual nature, or battery of a sexual nature such as rape, physical assault, domestic battering and stalking, according to a department release.

Counseling services for women veterans suffering from sexual trauma have been available to since 1992, spokeswoman Karen Fedele said. The public law was later amended to include men, though she does not know the date of the change.

Vets also are entitled to compensation if they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is secondary to sexual trauma.

Qualifying vets can receive monthly disability payments.

To apply for benefits, veterans need to complete VA Form 21-526, the Veterans Application for Compensation or Pension. A counselor or Women Veterans Coordinator can help. Coordinators at VA regional offices in the United States can be reached by calling (800) 827-1000.

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