WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS CENTER) - A Maine veteran from the tiny hamlet of Milbridge says testifying before Congress is a major step in her recovery from military sexual assault 25 years ago.
The calm but strong testimony by Ruth Moore yesterday visibly moved members of a House Armed Services subcommittee who are looking into legislation aimed at helping veterans obtain services and benefits for health issues that arise from harrassment and assault while serving in the military. Moore spoke about being raped twice by a supervisor at a Naval base where she was serving, being discharged from the Navy, and repeatedly being denied benefits for treatment of depression, PTSD and gynocological problems that resulted from the rapes.
Moore first told her story to News Center last year. At that time she asked that we protect her identity by obscuring her face and changing her voice.
"That was a first step for me," Moore told us today via satellite from Washington, D.C. "It was a step that built trust between us and it let me build trust in a system after so many years of not having it."
Last month, Ruth contacted us to let us know she has made great strides in coming to terms with what happened 25 years ago and would be testifying before Congress ... and that she would be comfortable doing an on camera interview.
"It is my hope that we can make change," says Moore. "Congresswoman Pingree and so many people have started to make the changes and we at the grass roots level need to change this and put forth good faith and develop that system of trust so that we can make the system even better for the people to follow us. "
Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree sponosred the legislation being considered and says input from victims like Ruth Moore is critical to fixing the system.