Countless men and women are raped while serving in the military – as many as 26,000 reports are made each year. Sexual assault has been called an “occupational hazard…a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire”.
The film makers have recorded the devastating stories of several veteran women and men who were sexually harassed and brutally assaulted during their time in the military. “The Invisible War” exposes the armed forces’ continued tolerance of and apathy toward sexual violence and the victim blaming which has become innate within the system.
Some statistics shared by the film makers include:
40% of homeless female veterans were victims of military sexual assault.
25% of sexual assault victims who don’t report choose not to report because the offender is a friend of their superior.
33% of sexual assault victims who don’t report choose not to report because the offender is their superior.
15% of people in the military attempted or completed a rape before they enlisted.
The average sex offender has 300 victims.
After viewing the film in 2012, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand immediately began advocating for change:
“I was so offended by what happened to these brave men and women who would literally risk their lives for the country and then not only have to suffer through the horror of rape, but then be told, either by their commanding officer or by someone within chain of command, that nothing would be done for them, that there was no justice for them.”
Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act will be voted on in March 2014.
Go to invisiblewarmovie.com to learn more about the film and the survivors who are fighting to put an end to sexual violence in the armed forced. The film is also available on Netflix and will be in UK theatres on 11 March 2014.
Related Post: Rape in the Military