As Dyk’s opinion noted, “The secretary expects that many assaults will not have been reported to authorities, for reasons unrelated to the merits of the claim. Penalizing assault victims for that failure would hardly comport with a system” designed to emphasize fairness and based on “solicitude” for the veteran claiming injury.
Indeed, even the dissenting judge, Kimberly Moore, noted that “as a judge, a woman, and a human being, I am dubious about the weighing of the evidence and the fact findings of the VA in this case.”
Not everyone who comes forward, years after an alleged event, is automatically entitled to benefits. But victims of sexual assault in the military are entitled to more benefit of the doubt than the government they served has seen fit to give them.
Ruth Marcus’ email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.