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Home | County, State and Federal Government | Congressional committee holds hearing on Ruth Moore Act Pingree's bill named for Maine veteran would make it easier for survivors of militarysexual assault

Congressional committee holds hearing on Ruth Moore Act Pingree's bill named for Maine veteran would make it easier for survivors of militarysexual assault

 

A subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing today on a bill introduced by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree that would make it easier for veterans who are victims of sexual assault in the military to get the benefits due to them.  The bill, the Ruth Moore Act (H.R. 671), makes it easier for veterans to qualify for benefits related to sexual assaults, since they only have to show a medical diagnosis of a mental health condition and a link between an assault and that mental health condition.

 

Pingree testified while Ruth Moore, the Maine veteran the bill is named after, looked on.

 

"Whetherthe attack happened on a Navy base in Europe or a National Guard training facility here in the U.S., whether they were soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, the story too often has the same ending: the victims were blamed, the crime was covered up, and the survivors themselves became the subject of further harassment and recrimination. And too often, what followed was years of mental health issues, lost jobs, substance abuse and homelessness," Pingree said.  "These stories don’t have to end this way. With the Ruth Moore Act we can change the VA’s policy so that veterans who survive a sexual assault can at least get the benefits they deserve."
Recently the Veterans Administration reduced the standard of proof for combat veterans who suffer from PTSD.  Pingree said that same standard should be offered to victims of military sexual assault.

 

The bill is named after Ruth Moore, a veteran from Maine who was raped twice after enlisting in the Navy at age 18.  Moore reported the attacks, but the attacker was never charged or disciplined.  Moore was labeled as suffering from mental illness and discharged from the Navy.  She then fought for over twenty years before she was finally awarded the veterans benefits she deserved.

 

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