VA Committed to Helping Victims of Sexual Trauma

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2003) - Veterans who suffered personal assault
or sexual trauma while on active military duty, including service at one of
the military academies, may be eligible to receive VA disability
compensation, counseling and other benefits from the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA).

"Sexual trauma can cause serious physical and mental problems for
its victims," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi. "I
want these veterans, both women and men, to know that VA is here to give
them compassionate, professional care to help them cope with the aftermath
of sexual trauma. VA is committed to helping victims of sexual trauma
regain their health and self-esteem so they can enjoy the quality of life
they deserve."

Veterans who suffered personal assault, rape, domestic battering or
stalking while on active duty may have lingering physical, emotional or
psychological symptoms.

VA has specially trained professionals to coordinate care and
counseling for sexual trauma victims. These health care professionals are
sensitive to the physical and psychological effects of sexual trauma or
personal assault.

Additional information regarding medical care and compensation for
veterans is available at VA regional offices or medical centers. The
telephone numbers can be found in local directories under the "U.S.
Government" listing.

In most areas, for information about disability compensation and VA
pensions, callers can use the following toll-free number: 1-800-827-1000.
For health care and copayment information, call 1-877-222-8387. Information
is also available on VA's Web page,