Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 14, 2010

Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic Files Suit Against DoD and VA

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Lawsuit In New Haven Charges Military Withholds Sex Assault Data

by Lisa Chedekel | Dec 13, 2010 7:31 p

"Sexual assault in the military is widespread, but the Pentagon and the VA will not release records documenting the extent of the problem and how it is handled, says a lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court in New Haven by advocacy groups working with the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic.

“The government’s refusal to even take the first step of providing comprehensive and accurate information about the sexual trauma inflicted upon our women and men in uniform, and the treatment and benefits [military sexual trauma] survivors receive after service, is all too telling,” said Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain and executive director of the Service Women’s Action Network [SWAN], one of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs, which also include the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Connecticut, allege that their efforts to seek records on the prevalence of sexual assaults in the military, the number of acquittals and convictions, and other data and related policies have been met with resistance by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They said they had submitted requests to numerous branches of the two departments in October, under Freedom of Information laws, but had received either no responses, partial responses, or claims that no such records could be located.

They are seeking injunctive relief to compel the production of agency records."

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