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Conference & Seminars

Avenues of Hope: MST Best Advocacy Practices

American History Theater (501C3) is proud to partner with and be hosted by the Women’s Museum of California for their Spring workshop on Military Sexual Trauma, “Avenues of Hope: MST Best Advocacy Practices”.  This three-hour event will start at 1 pm at the California Women’s Museum in Point Loma and last until 4 pm. This event is a follow-up to the non-profit’s Fall women’s conference held at California State San Marcos. This event will focus on best practices for an MST survivors focused on compensation and treatment. The subject matter should be relevant for military disability claim agents, MST advocates, survivors, all veterans and members of the community who want to learn more.  

We welcome Kathleen Hoffman, who has been a passionate veteran’s advocate since 2006, and specializes in veterans’ disability claims. She learned the ropes through The National Veterans Legal Services Program. Hoffman’s straight-shooting, no-nonsense style of advocacy puts her in the top percentage of effective claims advocates. Hoffman also volunteers with The Independence Fund, helping severely injured veterans obtain adaptive equipment to find personal autonomy. Many women have trouble attaining the proper disability rating for what they suffered due to either uneducated claims agents or inability to provide proof for an event they were too afraid to report. Hoffman will explain disability forms in full and share with our group what they need to have in order prior to talking with a claims agent.

Our second speaker will be Susan Avila-Smith, who is the founder and Director of VetWow, which is a grass roots, non-partisan organization which addresses the needs of American service members and veterans, with a strong focus on MST. Avila-Smith has been a voice for the active duty and veteran community since the late 1980s and continues to speak to audiences, the media and push for stronger legislation concerning MST. She will speak about how victims can best approach treatment at VA healthcare facilities, which can sometimes seem like a confusing, daunting process. Avila-Smith will also go over what victims may encounter emotionally and mentally as they heal. During the workshop, both guests will be available for questions and we encourage attendees to share their personal stories too.

One of AHT’s visions is to continue to provide safe talk spaces for veterans and active duty service members who have suffered an MST event, while embracing venues to better network those whose passion is helping our nation’s vets.  We hope you will join us at the Women’s Museum of California on Saturday, April 30th from 1pm-4pm to become more educated, become part of our network and lean in as a pillar of support for victims of MST.