Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Protect Our Defenders: a resource for MST survivors

A new resource for advocates for Military Sexual Trauma survivors is "Protect Our Defenders":
Protect Our Defenders educates the public and policymakers on the crisis of sexual violence in the military. Despite more than 25 years of Pentagon studies, task force recommendations and congressional hearings, rates of rape, sexual assault and harassment within the military remain unacceptably high. Survivors of sexual violence in the military must receive justice and appropriate medical support. And, their perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes.
According to the Department of Defense, 19,000 service members were raped or sexually assaulted in 2010. Only 13.5 percent of these incidents were reported. The Pentagon’s 2011 annual report shows a 58.5 percent increase in reported sexual assaults at service academies. The current system of reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care is broken.
Survivors of rape and sexual assault encounter numerous obstacles in acquiring immediate and long-term care. They are often disbelieved, silenced, denied health care and discharged involuntarily. Again and again, survivors tell us that terms such as “personality disorder, bipolar disorder or conduct unbecoming” are imposed as false reasons for their discharge.
To address these problems, Protect Our Defenders engages policymakers on issues affecting service members and veterans who are victims of military sexual violence.
We urge concerned Americans to to join our community, to create a unified voice in support of legislation to fundamentally change the way the Department of Defense deals with the injustices facing service members and veterans who have suffered military sexual trauma. Sign Our Petition.
Learn more at

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 14/Web: Meeting Legal Needs of Homeless and At-Risk Veterans: VHA Programs for Justice-Involved Veterans

Earlier this year, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) Technical Assistance (TA) Center hosted a training webinar on best practices for meeting the legal needs of homeless veterans to remove barriers to employment. This training introduced successful court models that connect veterans seeking treatment to needed legal services that prevent incarceration. When asked for additional needs after this training, webinar participants overwhelmingly requested more information on engaging with partners at their local VA Medical Centers to provide legal services.
On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 3 p.m. EDT, the NCHV TA Center will host “Meeting Legal Needs of Homeless and At-Risk Veterans: VHA Programs for Justice-Involved Veterans.” This Level II Training Webinar will feature issue-experts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration: Sean Clark, National Coordinator, Veterans Justice Outreach, and Jessica Blue-Howells, National Coordinator, Health Care for Reentry Veterans.
For the past seven years, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has been providing direct outreach to veterans re-entering the community after serving a term in prison. Additionally, for the past four years, VHA has been providing direct outreach to veterans involved in arrests, jail incarceration, and treatment courts. Participants in this webinar will obtain a baseline understanding of the needs of justice-involved veterans and two VHA models that have been developed to assist veterans along the continuum of justice involvement.
Meeting Legal Needs of Homeless and At-Risk Veterans: VHA Programs for Justice-Involved Veterans
May 14, 2013
3 pm Eastern
Webcast - Preregistration Required - See below
To register, send the following information to
Email address:
Organization address:
Once you register, you will receive instructions for joining the training and a link to download the training materials. For additional questions, please contact Baylee Crone at or 202-546-1969.
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
CLE Credit:
While the sponsor of this event has not applied for CLE credit, the content and instructors appear to meet the requirements of various jurisdictions. The sponsor has told me that they will email certificates of attendance upon request.
For NCHV latest news, resources and grant information, see