By Kathy Groob, Founder ElectWomen.com– The Oscar nominated film, The Invisible War, tells the personal stories of shame, humiliation and trauma of women who were raped while serving in the United States Military. The statistics are startling and attacks even worse when women risking their lives to serve their country are subject to the trauma of rape only to be ignored and shunned for reporting the crimes.
Directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering, the groundbreaking documentary shatters any myth that might have existed that rape in the military was a rare occurrence. Statistics speak loudly, in an LA Times review of the film, the U.S. Military reports there were “22,800 violent sex crimes in the military in 2011; 30% of servicewomen sexually assaulted during their enlistment; women in combat zones more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by the enemy.”
Military rape and sexual assault cases are not prosecuted in the same way they are in civilian courts. In many cases, women are forced to report their attack to a commander who is himself the perpetrator or a friend of the perp. Sadly, most cases are not prosecuted and many women are subject to repeated sexual assault and harassment.
“It is not just the detailing of the horrors of assault that makes “The Invisible War” so upsetting, it is its exploration of the before and after — an examination of what led these people to the military in the first place and what happened to them once they filed rape charges — that gives the film much of its power,” LA Times.
A call to action is highlighted on the film website under the movement, Invisible No More. Join the movement to protect women in the military from rape and sexual assault. Visit http://www.notinvisible.org/take_action.