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Military sexual assault survivors demand action

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WASHINGTON -

Sexual assault in the military has dominated headlines the last two weeks. Lawmakers are calling it an "epidemic" that's largely been ignored until now.

Bipartisan lawmakers, the president and the rest of the country, are now uniting behind survivors of sexual assault in an unprecedented way.

WNCN met Navy Veteran Ruth Moore at the Truth and Justice Summit in Washington, D.C. in April. She is a survivor of sexual assault and said, "I don't like the military hierarchy. I don't like the UCMJ, and I don't like the good old boys club that seems to still exist in the military."

Moore waited 23 years to have her claims approved by the VA.

"It was just a nightmare over and over again each time, trying to get the help I needed and it wasn't until 2010, they finally admitted that I had been raped," she said.

She took her cause to Capitol Hill and eventually got legislation drafted in her name called the Ruth Moore Act, earlier this year. It allows more sexual assault survivors to get disability benefits, faster and easier.

Survivors say Congress is no longer just talking about the problem, but solving it. This week lawmakers also introduced landmark legislation that would change military law called the "Military Justice Improvement Act".

The new bill, amongst other things would prevent commanders from handling sexual assault cases that involve their subordinates.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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