U.S. House approves bill for veterans who suffered sexual assault in the military

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By: Matthew Daly/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a bill making it easier for veterans who suffered sexual assault or other sexual abuse while in uniform to get help from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The bill was approved by voice vote Monday night. It would allow a statement by a survivor of military sexual trauma to be considered sufficient proof that an assault occurred.

The bill is named after Ruth Moore, a former Navy sailor who was raped twice by a superior officer nearly 30 years ago. The Maine resident was awarded more than $400,000 in retroactive disability benefits last year after a decades-long battle with the VA.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine called the bill an important step to get the VA to make its benefits process easier and fairer.