- Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 Military Sexual Trauma Section 402: Provision of Counseling and Treatment for Sexual Trauma by the Department of Veterans Affairs to Members of the Armed Forces (Public Law 113-146) (“Choice Act”) Section 402 amended current law to authorize the VA, in consultation with the DoD, to provide sexual assault-related counseling and care for sexual trauma to members of the Armed Forces (including members of the National Guard and reserves) on active duty without the need for a referral. The Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE) is currently leading the DoD effort in supporting implementation of this act.
- Section 538 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2016
Section 538 addresses “Improved DoD Prevention and Response to Sexual Assaults in which the Victim is a Male Member of the Armed Forces.” PHCoE is co-leading the development of the medical response in support of this section of the NDAA. It requires DoD to develop a plan to improve DoD prevention and response to sexual assaults in which the victim is a male member of the Armed Forces that contains:
- Sexual assault prevention and response training to more comprehensively and directly address the incidence of male members of the Armed Forces who are sexually assaulted and how certain behavior and activities, such as hazing, can constitute a sexual assault
- Methods to evaluate the extent to which differences exist in the medical and mental health-care needs of male and female sexual assault victims, and the care regimen that will best meet those needs
- Data-driven decision making to improve male-victim sexual assault prevention and response program efforts
- Goals with associated metrics to drive the changes needed to address sexual assaults of male members of the Armed Forces
- Information about the sexual victimization of males in communications to members that are used to raise awareness of sexual assault and efforts to prevent and respond to it
- Guidance for the Defense Department’s medical and mental health providers, and other personnel that delineates these gender-specific distinctions and the recommended care regimen to most effectively meet those needs
- Defense Health Agency Interim Procedures Memorandum (DHA-IPM) 16-004, Sexual Assault Medical Management with Consideration of Male Service Members of the Armed Forces DoD released this memorandum in December 2016, which establishes a plan to improve medical care response to victims of sexual assault so that victims receive a coordinated, compassionate, and competent approach to address both physical and behavioral health care needs within the Military Health System (MHS).