Congressman Barr unveils bill to provide care for military victims of sexual trauma

01/13/2014 11:59 AM

FRANKFORT — U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, on Monday unveiled the bill he is filing in Congress aimed at providing care for victims of military sexual trauma.

Barr made the announcement in the Kentucky Capitol rotunda flanked by a bipartisan group of state House members. During hearings last year, military officials testified that sexual assaults spiked in 2012 at 46 percent, and members of Congress reacted by passing judicial remedies under the National Defense Authorization Act.

However, those seeking treatment for Military Sexual Trauma or MST, such as Susan Moseley who served in the Army in the 1990s, say there are few readily available treatment remedies.

The legislation which Barr has put before Congress would allow survivors of MST to seek treatment outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Something victims says is needed, because of the lack of nearby or available care options.

State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, said veterans hospitals aren’t ready for the “onslaught” of patients.

“Quite frankly, how could they possibly be prepared for the number of victims who are going to come forward — those 10,000 or so who have already filed for judicial remedy,” Westrom said.

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