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We must address military sexual assault now

By Samantha Kubek

Two years ago as part of NYLAG’s LegalHealth program, I started the first legal clinic in the U.S. tailored specifically for women veterans.  

My clients are brave and strong. These women dedicated themselves to the service of our country and too often their sacrifice was met with abuse—the majority of my clients were sexually assaulted during their time in the military.

Frustratingly, as if the abuse wasn’t enough, many received an “other-than-honorable” discharge related to sexual trauma they experienced in the military. Or they were retaliated against. Why is the military punishing survivors in this way?

I’m deeply honored to be a part of the fight for justice for military sexual assault survivors. I work with my clients on everything from upgrading their discharge to accessing VA benefits to preventing eviction.

This week, I hit an exciting milestone: I’ve won more than $1,000,000 in benefits for my clients!

I’m just one attorney. Every one of my amazing colleagues at NYLAG has a huge impact on so many lives, whether it be securing access to shelters for people experiencing homelessness or defending LGBTQ workers facing discrimination.​

Samantha Kubek is a staff attorney with NYLAG’s LegalHealth Division. 

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