Press Releases

Knight's Sexual Assault Prevention Program Receives Funding

$2 million appropriated for provisions introduced in START Act

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Washington, DC, October 4, 2018 | Chris Jusuf (202-225-1956) | comments
On Friday, September 28, 2018 President Trump signed into law the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, which provides federal funding and direction to the Department of Defense and associated branches of the military. Included in the bill is $2 million in appropriated funds to support a pilot Sexual Trauma Treatment Program, a provision from H.R. 5707, the Sexual Trauma Response and Treatment (START) Act, introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) in May of this year.

This funding will be used to establish a pilot program within the Department of Defense to provide intensive outpatient programs to military service members who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to military sexual trauma (MST). This program will implement private-public partnerships to provide a holistic and integrated approach to treatment. This includes providing healthcare, counseling, family benefits, substance abuse assistance, and other measures.

This pilot program will operate as a testing ground for these treatment options, and will be used to assess the feasibility and efficacy of implementing similar programs across the entire Department of Defense.

"This is a huge step forward in our military's ability to prevent and treat military sexual assault, a problem that betrays the trust of fellow service members, damages unit cohesion, and hurts our ability to accomplish missions.said Rep. Knight "I am very happy my colleagues on the Appropriations Committees have recognized the importance of this pilot program and have provided appropriate funding to get it off the ground. I look forward to seeing how this program unfolds and will continue to work towards solutions to serve our men and women in uniform."

Representative Knight is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and serves on the Subcommittee on Tactical Air & Land Forces and the Subcommittee on Seapower & Projection Forces. The START Act was a bipartisan bill that was co-led by Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA) with companion legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator David Perdue (R-GA).
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