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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.

PHOTO: 'I Won't Be Silent Any Longer'

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.

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Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via Yosemite National Park / Facebook

A gut-wrenching story shared by a Yosemite park ranger shows why it's so important for people to be mindful of surrounding wildlife.

Yosemite is a 750,000-acre national park that occupies four separate counties in northern California.

Last week, the national park shared the first-hand account of a park ranger who took care of the body of a dead bear cub that was struck by a car. Sadly, the ranger says that it happens far too often in Yosemite. "I try to remember how many times I've done this now and, truthfully, I don't know. This is not what any of us signs up for, but it's a part of the job nonetheless," the ranger wrote.

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