This week I speak with LaRhonda Harris of the Maine Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She talks about changes that have been made in the last decade so that women feel safer and more comfortable coming to the VA for health care. She also talks about leading a book group for women veterans, and how sharing stories of the experience of being female in a male-oriented institution allows for connections across generations.
This week’s show is part two of my interview with Kate Weber. Last week she told the story of being sexually assaulted on her army base overseas, and the lack of support and safety she felt when she reported the crime. This week we talk about the years since her discharge, including her struggle to feel safe in the culture of the VA, her battle with PTSD, and the ways that being in the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War has empowered her to change the system.
This week we continue our series on PTSD among women veterans. My guest is Kate Weber, who was raped by a fellow soldier within her first weeks of deployment overseas in 1993. She discusses the helplessness and isolation she felt when she discovered that no one, from the staff doctor, to her friends and fellow soldiers, would take her seriously.
This week I talk with Kathy Russin, the Military Sexual Trauma Program Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine. She talks about the prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma among veterans, and explains that it is not limited to rape, and affects both men and women. She explains how MST is different from combat PTSD in its impact, and talks about the many ways it can make leading a normal life very difficult.
This week’s show is the second half of my conversation with Ruth Moore, a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma, and the namesake of the Ruth Moore Act, a piece of pending legislation which would remove some of the current barriers to treatment and justice for survivors of MST. This part of the interview covers Ruth’s path to personal healing after returning from overseas duty, and her choice to share her story publicly and before congress in the hope of bringing change.