38 USC 1720D - Counseling and treatment for sexual trauma
Sec. 1720D. Counseling and treatment for sexual trauma(a)
(1) The Secretary shall operate a program under which the Secretary provides counseling and appropriate care and services to veterans who the Secretary determines require such counseling and care and services to overcome psychological trauma, which in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, resulted from a physical assault of a sexual nature, battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment which occurred while the veteran was serving on active duty or active duty for training.
(2) In furnishing counseling to a veteran under this subsection, the Secretary may provide such counseling pursuant to a contract with a qualified mental health professional if
(A) in the judgment of a mental health professional employed by the Department, the receipt of counseling by that veteran in facilities of the Department would be clinically inadvisable, or
(B) Department facilities are not capable of furnishing such counseling to that veteran economically because of geographical inaccessibility.
(1) The Secretary shall give priority to the establishment and operation of the program to provide counseling and care and services under subsection (a). In the case of a veteran eligible for counseling and care and services under subsection (a), the Secretary shall ensure that the veteran is furnished counseling and care and services under this section in a way that is coordinated with the furnishing of such care and services under this chapter.
(2) In establishing a program to provide counseling under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
(A) provide for appropriate training of mental health professionals and such other health care personnel as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the program effectively;
(B) seek to ensure that such counseling is furnished in a setting that is therapeutically appropriate, taking into account the circumstances that resulted in the need for such counseling; and
(C) provide referral services to assist veterans who are not eligible for services under this chapter to obtain those from sources outside the Department.
(c) The Secretary shall provide information on the counseling and treatment available to veterans under this section. Efforts by the Secretary to provide such information—
(1) shall include availability of a toll-free telephone number (commonly referred to as an 800 number);
(2) shall ensure that information about the counseling and treatment available to veterans under this section—
(A) is revised and updated as appropriate;
(B) is made available and visibly posted at appropriate facilities of the Department; and
(C) is made available through appropriate public information services; and
(3) shall include coordination with the Secretary of Defense seeking to ensure that individuals who are being separated from active military, naval, or air service are provided appropriate information about programs, requirements, and procedures for applying for counseling and treatment under this section.
(d) In this section, the term "sexual harassment" means repeated, unsolicited verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature which is threatening in character.
Last modified: July 21, 2011