New York State Division of Veterans' Services

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Military Sexual Trauma

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) refers to both sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurs in the military. Both men and women can experience MST.  The perpetrator can be of the same or of the opposite gender.  A general definition of sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that occurs in the workplace or an academic or training setting.

Sexual harassment includes gender harassment (e.g., put you down because of your gender), unwanted sexual attention (e.g., made offensive remarks about your sexual activities or your body) and sexual coercion (e.g., implied special treatment if you were sexually cooperative).

MST can be a stressor for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Hotlines

New York State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for free and confidential service: 800-942-6906 or 711 for Deaf or Hard of Hearing

National Sexual Assault 24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Domestic Violence 24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

National Deaf Hotline: Videophone 9am-5pm M-F 1-855-812-1001 or [email protected]

Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247

New York State Domestic Violence Program Directory

The New York State Domestic Violence Programs Directory provides information by County on: Residential services including domestic violence shelter, safe homes and safe dwellings. Non-residential services including telephone hotline assistance, information, referral, counseling, advocacy, community education and outreach services.

New York State Sex Offender Registry

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is responsible for maintaining the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

Registered sex offenders are assigned a risk level by judge after a court hearing: Level 1 (low risk of re-offense); Level 2 (medium risk of re-offense), and Level 3 (high risk of re-offense).

Get information about Level 1 offenders and offenders whose risk levels have not yet been determined by a judge by:

  • Calling 800-262-3257, 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding legal holidays).
  • Callers must have an individual's name and one of the following – an exact address, date of birth, driver's license number, or Social Security number – to learn if that individual is on the Registry.

The state’s NY-ALERT system can notify you whenever a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender listed in the online directory moves.

Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE)

VINE was enacted by the state Legislature in 1998 as part of Jenna's Law, which ended discretionary parole for first-time violent felony offenders.

This law authorizes crime victims as well as all other New Yorkers to receive information relating to the crime, sentence and release date of persons serving sentences in state prison.

You may also register with VINE for automatic notification by telephone if the inmate is released.

To register when calling VINE, you will be asked to provide:

  • The phone number at which you wish to be notified.
  • A four-digit Personal Identification Number that you select to allow VINE to confirm your identity and to keep your identity confidential.

New Yorkers can obtain that information free through VINE - Victim Information and Notification Everyday - available around-the-clock in both English and Spanish.

VINE provides crime and release data on all prison inmates. To get information, you must:

  • Contact the prosecuting District Attorney's Office to get the inmate's New York State Identification Number (NYSID) or date of birth.
  • Call VINE from a touch-tone phone: 1-888-VINE-4NY (1-888-846-3469). Or you may register online at VINELink, the National Victim Notification Network.
  • Provide the offender's NYSID number, or full name and date of birth or DOCCS' identification number (DIN)

New York State Office of Victim Services

The State of New York's commitment to its innocent victims of violent crime began with the creation of the Crime Victims Compensation Board in 1966, now named the Office of Victim Services (OVS). The enabling legislation to establish this Board was in response to public outcry over a particularly horrendous crime in which a young man was murdered in a subway, leaving behind a widow and a fifteen-month old child. In fact, the New York State Crime Victims Board was one of the first independent state agencies established for crime victim compensation. As of June 22, 2010, the Crime Victims Board (CVB) became the Office of Victim Services (OVS) and has been providing compensation and other services to one of the most vulnerable populations in our State – innocent victims of crime – for more than 40 years.

Services

Compensation

OVS provides substantial financial relief to victims of crime and their families by paying unreimbursed crime-related expenses, including but not limited to: medical and funeral expenses, loss of earnings or support, counseling costs, crime scene clean-up expenses, the cost to repair or replace items of essential personal property, reasonable and necessary court transportation expenses, assistance to crime victims acting as a good Samaritan, the cost of residing at or utilizing the services of a domestic violence shelter, and limited attorney fees. More information on these services can be found here.

Direct Services to Crime Victims

The OVS Grants Unit is responsible for the administration of the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim and Witness Assistance funds which are awarded through a competitive process to organizations across the State serving crime victims. The OVS began its financial support of community-based organizations in 1981 funding 23 programs initially. Currently, OVS administers and processes over 200 contracts with Victim Assistance Programs across the State serving all 62 counties. Additionally, this Unit coordinates with other criminal justice agencies in the State on victim and witness service initiatives and priorities and serves as a liaison for the agency with various crime victim coalitions, federal authorities, the public and other interested parties. Find your local Victim Assistance Program here.

Advocate for Innocent Victims Rights and Benefits

Over time the role and mission of the agency has expanded. In 1979, the Legislature required that the former CVB (renamed Office of Victim Services) advocate for victims’ rights, needs and interests in New York State. This advocacy role has resulted in OVS' formulation of legislation, subsequently enacted, which not only has protected and extended the rights of crime victims but also expanded the services and assistance available to them. OVS also facilitates communication and coordination with other federal, state, and local governmental agencies and victim advocacy organizations in an effort to further the rights and interests of crime victims.

In addition, each of the OVS offices has an advocate, who is charged with assisting victims in completing claim applications and providing direct services to victims of crime and their families in the form of assistance in obtaining emergency awards, referrals to other agencies and services, and helping them through the criminal justice process.

New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

The Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV), created in 1992, is the country’s only executive level state agency dedicated to the issue of domestic violence. It replaced the former Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence established in 1983. Our mission is to improve New York State’s response to and prevention of domestic violence with the goal of enhancing the safety of all New Yorkers in their intimate and family relationships.

Military-Related Victims

You can contact your local domestic violence program whether or not you involve the FAP.

Victims who are connected with the military (service members, veterans, or partnered with a service member or veteran) can seek assistance from civilian domestic violence programs and may be able to seek assistance from Family Advocacy Programs (FAP). FAPs exist on all active- duty military installations. Services available include safety planning, victim advocacy, case management, and counseling. FAP services are free for anyone who is eligible for military medical benefits.

United States Department of Defense - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

SAPRO is the organization responsible for the oversight of Department of Defense (DoD) sexual assault policy. The Department of Defense is committed to the prevention of sexual assault. The Department has implemented a comprehensive policy to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of all members of the Armed Forces. Our men and women serving throughout the world deserve nothing less, and their leaders — both Military and civilian — are committed to maintaining a workplace environment that rejects sexual assault and reinforces prevention, response and accountability.

Every command has a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) available to provide advocacy and support for survivors.

Safe Helpline is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) sole hotline for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. The Safe Helpline can be reached at: 877-995-5247.

Who does Safe Helpline help?

The services provided by Safe Helpline are available to the DoD community consistent with DoD SAPR Policy, including:

  • Adult Service members in the Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Component, as well as Coast Guard and their dependents 18 years of age and older.
  • The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) covers adult military dependent sexual assault victims who are assaulted by a spouse or intimate partner and military dependent sexual assault victims who are 17 years of age and younger.
  • DoD civilian employees and their family dependents 18 years of age and older when they are stationed or performing duties outside of the United States.
  • U.S. citizen DoD contractor personnel when they are authorized to accompany Armed Forces in a contingency operation OCONUS and their U.S. citizen employees.

VA Medical Care

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides free MST counseling and referral, including appropriate care and services, to overcome psychological trauma resulting from MST.

Contact the VA Crisis Line: 1.800.273.8255, press 1

For more information, visit their website.

Additional Assistance:

If you would like to learn more about the benefits and services you may be eligible for as a Veteran, servicemember, or as a family member of a Veteran or servicemember, please call the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Help Line at 1.888.838.7697 (VETSNYS), where you may also schedule an appointment with one of our Veterans Benefits Advisors.

Schedule an Appointment with a Veterans Benefits Advisor

1-888-VETS-NYS

(1-888-838-7697)

Contact a Veterans Benefits Advisor

Find a Veterans Benefits Advisor Near You!

or

Schedule an Appointment with a Veterans Benefits Advisor

1-888-VETS-NYS

(1-888-838-7697)

Contact a Veterans Benefits Advisor

Find a Veterans Benefits Advisor Near You!

or