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NH rape victim joins forum on sexual assault in military
The New Hampshire resident and veteran of the U.S. Army shared her personal struggles during a roundtable discussion Tuesday at Nashua Community College.
The retired sergeant first class described it has a horrific event in her life that took her a long time to acknowledge and seek help.
While she has healed since those dark moments several years ago, Atwood-Bell is now on a mission to help others who may have faced the same type of assault while serving.
Kuster hosted Tuesday's event, which gathered advocates and other leaders from New Hampshire who are attempting to combat military sexual assaults.
Kuster also shared a separate story about a young, male service member who was locked in a closet and raped at knifepoint.
In addition to H.R. 1864, the Military Whistleblower Protection Bill, Kuster is also co-sponsoring other legislation such as the Ruth Moore Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to annually report to Congress on disability benefits claims submitted for covered mental health conditions alleged to have been incurred or aggravated by military sexual trauma.
Loiselle said he is pleased to be able to listen, learn, collaborate and find the best practices for handling sexual assaults in the military.
For Jo Moncher, bureau chief of community based military programs for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, her biggest concern is the time lapse between when the assaults occur and when they are initially reported.
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