A disturbing new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that although there were 284 reported sexual assaults in hospitals and clinics operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) between 2007 and 2010, many of these never made their way to regional or central offices. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the were not reported to the VA Office of the Inspector General, as required by VA regulation. And the report adds that there is reason to believe that there are many other assaults that go unreported.
It’s no secret that rates of sexual assault in the military are unacceptably high, and that many reported cases go uninvestigated. But discussions of rape in the military mostly center around active servicepeople, not veterans. This report is a wake-up call about the fact that protection from sexual assault needs to be a priority after members of the military have become veterans and begin to seek care with the VA.