From the Oscar-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick 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 Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The number of assaults in the last decade alone is believed to be in the hundreds of thousands.
Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of multiple rape victims, The Invisible War is a moving indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling the women’s struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.
At the core of the film are often heart-rending interviews with the rape survivors themselves—people like Kori Cioca, who was beaten and raped by her supervisor in the U.S. Coast Guard; Ariana Klay, a Marine who served in Iraq before being gang raped by a senior officer and his friend, then threatened with death; and Trina McDonald who was drugged and raped repeatedly by the military police on her remote Naval station in Adak, Alaska. And it isn’t just women; according to one study, one percent of men in the military—a staggering 20,000 soldiers—were sexually assaulted in 2009.
And while rape victims in the civilian world can normally turn to an impartial police force and justice system for help, rape victims in the military must turn to their command—a move that is all too often met with foot-dragging at best, and reprisals at worst. Many rape victims find themselves forced to choosebetween speaking up and keeping their careers. Little wonder that only eight percent of military sexual assault cases are prosecuted.
Read Kylie Boltin's interview with The Invisible War director, Kirby Dick here.
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