MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – US lawmakers have voiced concerns that the Defense Department has switched a diagnosis for sexual assault victims from "personality" to "adjustment" disorder in order to discretely discharge them from the military, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.
"Every time we shut them down on something, they'll find a way around it. Using the adjustment discharge diagnosis is the latest tactic,” California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier told the newspaper.
Speier said that the Pentagon is diagnosing those who report they were sexually assaulted in the army with adjustment disorder to drive them out of the military. The California democrat added that service members who had suffered in sexual assault cases had earlier been typically diagnosed with personality disorder.
According to the paper, 31,000 service members were removed from the army because of personality disorder in the period 2001-2010, but after lawmakers and press reported on the connection to sexual assault cases, the number began to drop rapidly and the military started to discharge service members because of adjustment disorder instead.
The report also cited a Yale University Law School study, which revealed that the number of personality disorder discharges has dropped from more than 1,200 in 2007 to just over 100 in 2009, while discharges due to adjustment disorder increased sevenfold over the same time period.
According to Greg Jacob, policy director at the Service Women’s Action Network, both personality and adjustment disorder diagnosis are considered pre-existing conditions not related to service and therefore prevent veterans from receiving disability benefits or VA care.
The Defense Department abstained from commenting on the issue, the paper says, adding that there were 26,000 sexual assaults in the US army last year alone.