Thursday, November 15, 2012

Documentary - The Invisible War (1 in 3 Military Women Raped)


I saw this film, The Invisible War, when it first aired on PBS Frontline - it is moving, infuriating, and painful. The fact that 1 in 3 women in the military will be sexually assaulted by their peers and superiors is simply incomprehensible to me. Even worse, many survivors are the ones investigated and often discharged as "mentally ill."
In 2011, there were 3,191 reports of sexual assaults ranging from wrongful touching to rape — but even Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he believes that because it is such an underreported crime, there were actually as many as 19,000 such attacks.
Only 8% of these rapes go to trial, which probably explains (along with the blame-the-victim approach) why the reports have gone down since that 2011 stat was recorded.

According to another article:
more than one-fifth of all active-duty female soldiers have been sexually assaulted, leaving women who have been raped in the military with a higher rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) than that of men in combat.
I tend to believe the 1 in 3 stat because I know how often rape goes unreported.


The Invisible War

From Oscar®- and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated; Twist of Faith) comes The Invisible War, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem-today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,000 violent sex crimes in the military in 2010. The Invisible War exposes the epidemic, breaking open one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, to the nation and the world.
Another summary:
The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands. Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. The Invisible War features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change. — (C) Official Site
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