PHOTO: 'I Won't Be Silent Any Longer'
Trigger warning: What follows is a story of sexual assault; it is not graphic but may affect some readers.
At the age of 18, Ruth Moore eagerly joined the Navy, only to be raped twice by her supervisor two and a half months into her first assignment. She writes that this assault "result[ed] in a life filled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, a sexually transmitted disease, miscarriages, suicide attempts, homelessness, an end to [her] marriage, and terror [she has] lived with ever since."
What's worse? The Department of Veterans Affairs repeatedly denied her disability benefits for PTSD that she was entitled to by law, and it wouldn’t correct its errors, even when they were first addressed over 19 years ago, in 1993.
The VA has the authority to make a simple regulatory change so that Military Sexual Trauma survivors aren’t held to a higher standard of proof than other veterans with PTSD. Please sign Ruth's petition asking the VA to revise its policy immediately. Ensure that all regional offices follow the same standards when processing MST and PTSD claims so that veterans like Ruth do not have to live the rest of their lives in pain — or worse, take their own lives.