Senator Jon Tester has introduced a bill making it easier for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder related to sexual trauma to receive VA benefits.

Under current rules, most veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress can receive VA health care benefits if they provide a diagnosis connected to their military service.  But currently survivors of sexual trauma when serving in the military must also provide a higher standard of evidence, even though the vast majority of rape and sexual assault in the military goes unreported.

Tester’s Fairness for Survivors of Military Trauma Act, which is supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Service Women’s Action Network and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, eliminates this difficult bureaucratic hurdle, putting victims of sexual trauma under the same umbrella as other victims of service-related trauma.

Between 2002 and 2008, 66,432 women reported some form of military sexual trauma, even though it often goes unreported.