Text: S.2973 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

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Calendar No. 682
102d CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 2973
[Report No. 102-409]
A BILL
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the care and services
furnished to women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma, to study the
needs of such veterans, to expand and improve other Department of Veterans
Affairs programs that provide such care and services, and for other purposes.
September 17 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 8), 1992
Reported with an amendment and an amendment to the title
S 2973 RS
Calendar No. 682
102d CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 2973
[Report No. 102-409]
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the care and services
furnished to women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma, to study the
needs of such veterans, to expand and improve other Department of Veterans
Affairs programs that provide such care and services, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 2 (legislative day, JUNE 16), 1992
Mr. CRANSTON (for himself, Mr. DECONCINI, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Mr. GRAHAM,
Mr. AKAKA, Mr. DASCHLE, Mr. JEFFORDS, Mr. SIMON, Mr. KERRY, Mr. KENNEDY,
Mr. DIXON, Mr. CONRAD, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. BURDICK, and Mr. MITCHELL) introduced
the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on
Veterans' Affairs
September 17 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 8), 1992
Reported by Mr. CRANSTON, with an amendment and an amendment to the title
[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed
in italic]
A BILL
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the care and services
furnished to women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma, to study the
needs of such veterans, to expand and improve other Department of Veterans
Affairs programs that provide such care and services, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
 [Struck out->] SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. []   This Act may be cited as the `Women Veterans Sexual Trauma
 Services Act of 1992'. [] SEC. 2. CARE AND SERVICES FOR WOMEN VETERANS WHO HAVE
 EXPERIENCED SEXUAL TRAUMA. []   (a) REQUIREMENT TO FURNISH CARE AND SERVICES- Chapter 17 of
 title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of subchapter
 II the following new section: [] `Sec. 1720D. Care and counseling of women veterans for sexual
 trauma []   `(a) A woman veteran who experienced sexual trauma that
 occurred during the period of the woman veteran's service on active duty
 and who is diagnosed by a Department health professional designated by
 the Chief Medical Director (following an examination of the veteran by such
 professional) to be in need of counseling or treatment for such sexual trauma
 shall be furnished care and services with respect to such trauma pursuant
 to sections 1710(a)(1)(A) and 1712(a)(1)(A) of this title, even though such
 trauma has not been determined to be service-connected. []   `(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
 the Secretary may enter into contracts with appropriate non-Department
 facilities (as determined by the Secretary) in order to furnish women
 veterans with the care and services (including any diagnostic services)
 referred to in subsection (a). []   `(2) Not later than January 31, 1993, the Secretary shall
 submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of
 Representatives a report on the use made of the authority provided under
 paragraph (1) before the date of the report. The report shall describe the
 extent of the use of that authority and the types of care and services
 furnished to women veterans under contracts entered into under that
 authority. []   `(3) The Secretary may not enter into contracts under this
 subsection after September 30, 1994. The Secretary shall provide that the
 authority to furnish care and services pursuant to a contract entered into
 under this subsection shall expire not later than that date. []   `(c) For the purposes of this section, the term `sexual
 trauma' means the immediate and long-term physical or psychological trauma
 resulting from rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other act of
 sexual violence.'. []   (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the
 beginning of such chapter is amended by adding after the item relating to
 section 1720C the following new item: [] `1720D. Care and counseling of women veterans for sexual
 trauma.'. [] SEC. 3. INFORMATION AND REFERRALS FOR WOMEN VETERANS. []   (a) INFORMATION SYSTEM- (1) Not later than 90 days after
 the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
 shall commence the provision of information and referrals relating to the
 care and services referred to in paragraph (2) by means of a toll-free
 telephone number (commonly referred to as an 800 number). []   (2) The care and services referred to in paragraph (1)
 are the care and services relating to sexual trauma that are available to
 women veterans in the communities in which such veterans reside, including
 care and services available under programs of the Department of Veterans
 Affairs (including the care and services available under section 1720D of
 title 38, United States Code (as added by section 2 of this Act)), and from
 non-Department agencies or organizations. []   (b) SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS- In providing information and
 referrals under subsection (a), the Secretary shall ensure that the telephone
 information system described in that subsection-- []   (1) is operated by Department personnel who are trained in
 the provision  of the information and referrals described in that subsection
 to individuals who have experienced sexual trauma; and []   (2) operates at all times. [] SEC. 4. REPORT ON NEED FOR CARE AND SERVICES OF WOMEN VETERANS
 WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED SEXUAL TRAUMA. []   (a) REPORT- Not later than December 31, 1993, the Secretary
 of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on the study carried
 out by the Secretary under subsection (b). []   (b) STUDY- (1) The Secretary, in consultation with and with
 the assistance of the Secretary of Defense, shall carry out a study of the
 needs of women veterans for counseling, medical care, and other services
 for sexual trauma. []   (2) In carrying out the study, the Secretary of Veterans
 Affairs shall, to the extent feasible, determine the following: []   (A) The extent to which women have experienced rape, other
 sexual assaults, sexual harassment, or other acts of sexual violence while
 on active military, naval, or air service. []   (B) The extent to which incidents of rape, other sexual
 assaults, sexual harassment, or other acts of sexual violence have been
 under-reported by women in general, by women who are members of the Armed
 Forces, and by women veterans. []   (C) The extent to which women members of the Armed
 Forces and women veterans who have experienced sexual trauma have utilized
 counseling, medical care, and other services furnished by the Department
 of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to respond to
 such experiences. [] SEC. 5. REPORT RELATING TO SERVICES AVAILABLE TO WOMEN
 VETERANS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED SEXUAL TRAUMA. []   Not later than December 31, 1992, the Secretary of Veterans
 Affairs shall submit to Congress a comprehensive report on the care and
 services furnished by the Department of Veterans Affairs to women veterans
 who have experienced sexual trauma. The report shall include the following:
 []   (1) A detailed description and review of the medical care,
 counseling, outreach, and other services available under programs of the
 Department of Veterans Affairs to women veterans who have experienced sexual
 trauma while on active military, naval, or air service, including the number
 of male and female counselors who have been provided specialized training
 in the counseling of women. []   (2) An assessment by the Secretary of any deficiencies in
 such programs in meeting the needs of such veterans for counseling, medical
 care, and other services in response to such experiences. []   (3) A detailed description of the plans of the Secretary
 to eliminate such deficiencies, and a schedule for the implementation of
 such plans. [] SEC. 6. PROVISION OF INFORMATION ON SERVICES TO WOMEN WHO
 ARE SEPARATING FROM THE ARMED FORCES. []   The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans
 Affairs shall jointly carry out a program to ensure that women who are being
 separated from active military, naval, or air service are provided information
 on the counseling, medical care, and other services and assistance relating
 to sexual trauma that are available to such women under programs carried
 out by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the procedures for applying
 such services and assistance. The Secretary of Defense shall provide such
 information through an in-person interview conducted with the woman being
 so separated. [] SEC. 7. REPORT RELATING TO DETERMINATIONS OF SERVICE-CONNECTION
 FOR SEXUAL TRAUMA. []   (a) Not later than December 31, 1992, the Secretary of
 Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report containing-- []   (1) the Secretary's assessment of-- []   (A) the difficulties women veterans encounter in obtaining
 determinations from the Department of Veterans Affairs that medical conditions
 relating to sexual trauma are service-connected; and []   (B) the extent to which Department personnel fail to make
 determinations of service-connection for such conditions; and []   (2) the Secretary's recommendation of actions to be
 undertaken to respond in a fair manner to such difficulties and to eliminate
 such failures. [] SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS. []   In this Act: []   (1) The term `active military, naval, or air service' has
 the meaning given such term in section 101(24) of title 38, United States
 Code. []   (2) The term `Armed Forces' has the meaning given such
 term in section 101(10) of title 38, United States Code. []   (3) The term `sexual trauma' means the immediate and
 long-term physical or psychological trauma resulting from rape, sexual
 assault, sexual harassment, or other act of sexual violence. [
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