Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today reintroduced the H.R. 1603, the Military Sexual Assault Victims Empowerment (SAVE) Act. The bill would allow survivors of military sexual trauma to seek specialized care outside of the Veterans Administration health care system.
“We owe members of the military the best medical treatment available, and victims of sexual assault in the military certainly deserve the compassion, flexibility, and discretion to make their own decisions about the best course of care for their unique needs,” said Congressman Barr. “I’m grateful for the bipartisan support of this legislation, and I look forward to advancing this commonsense solution to empower survivors of sexual assault in the military.”
The Military SAVE Act has 11 original cosponsors including Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a captain in the Hawaii National Guard who has served two tours of combat in the Middle East.
“The tens of thousands of military sexual assault survivors in the military must receive proper mental and physical care after experiencing such horrible trauma,” said Congresswoman Gabbard. “Stepping forward and seeking care is a battle all its own. Those who speak up must have their safety ensured and greater control over their own health decisions. Sexual assault survivors have unique needs; they shouldn’t be forced to share personal and highly emotional experiences with a doctor who is not best-equipped to treat them. I’m joining my friend and colleague Congressman Andy Barr in calling once again on Congress to give survivors a chance to recover and heal under the care of a trusted healthcare provider.”
Kentucky Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Heather French Henry also supports the bill. “The Military SAVE Act would be a great step forward to ensuring Kentucky veterans have the resources they need if they experienced a sexual assault while in the military,” said Commissioner Henry. “I applaud Congressman Barr for shining a light on this issue, and making the care of veterans a priority in Congress.”
The legislation was in part inspired by Susan Moseley, a survivor of a military sexual assault. “After I was sexually assaulted in the military I did not get the help I needed,” said Mosely. “As a result, I was lost for more than 20 years. I hope Congressman Barr’s legislation will help other victims to get the help they need so they can overcome their trauma and thrive.”
To learn more about the Military SAVE Act, visit Congressman Barr’s website at: http://barr.house.gov/issues/military-save-act.