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Sexual Assault Victims No Longer Need to Fear Punishment for Treatment


April 5, 2013

By Paul D. Shinkman
U.S. news & World report

Receiving treatment for a sexual assault will no longer harangue the process for getting or keeping a security clearance, the U.S. government's top intelligence official said Friday.

All executive departments, including the CIA and the military, will not require those who have received mental health counseling for sexual assault to answer "yes" to Question 21 on the standard form for security clearances, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced Friday morning. This question is designed to weed out recipients of counseling who might not be capable of protecting classified information.

Treatment for sexual assault now joins other counseling that does not preclude an applicant from passing the "Questionnaire for National Security Positions," such as for family, grief or marital counseling, or stress from combat service.

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