Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3642, the Military Sexual Assault Victim Empowerment Act, also known as the Military SAVE Act, introduced by Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06). This legislation would give survivors of military sexual trauma (MST) the ability to seek treatment from a community health care provider of their choice and would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify deficiencies in its treatment process to improve its care for these survivors through a three-year pilot program.

“According to research at the VA’s National Screening Program, one in four women and one in one-hundred men have been victims of MST during their time serving in the military,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “The Military SAVE Act is needed legislation that will empower MST survivors to access the care that best meets their unique physical and psychological needs and will help the VA take the necessary actions to improve future care for all MST survivors. I would like to thank Chairman Roe for his support of this legislation and especially thank Kentucky Department of Veterans’ Affairs Deputy Commissioner Heather French-Henry for her long-standing advocacy and the women veterans in my district who courageously stepped forward to share their personal stories with me and, in the process, made a profound and positive difference for other veterans.”

Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Phil Roe said, “In the week leading up to one of the most solemn days of remembrance for our nation, it is fitting we take steps to honor the men and women who have served this country by passing legislation to improve the lives of veterans. I thank Representative Barr for his legislation to expand opportunities for MST survivors to access care at community facilities. I am proud the House is coming together once again to move bipartisan legislation to keep our promises to the men and women who have served.”

This problem was first made personal to Congressman Barr in 2013 by a group of women in the Sixth Congressional District.