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The Invisible War

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An investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.

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. Twenty percent of all active-duty female servicewomen are sexually assaulted.

Profoundly moving, the film follows the stories of several idealistic young servicewomen who were raped and then betrayed by their own officers when they courageously came forward to report. Both a rallying cry for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who've been assaulted and a hopeful road map for change, THE INVISIBLE WAR is one of those rare films so powerful it has already helped change military policy.

The Invisible War features interviews with military personnel, lawmakers, and advocates, as well as veterans who have survived assault. The survivors talk about their experiences joining the military, the events surrounding their assaults, and the difficulties they have faced in seeking justice.

One survivor, Seaman Kori Cioca, struggles to earn benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay for the many medical difficulties that have resulted from her rape. With the help of attorney Susan Burke, Cioca brings a civil suit against the Department of Defense alleging a failure to adequately address sexual assault within the military.

The film also recounts several current and past incidents of sexual abuse, such as the 1991 Navy Tailhook scandal, the 1996 Army Aberdeen scandal, and the 2003 Air Force Academy scandal, and argues that the military has consistently made empty promises to address its high rate of sexual assault. The survivors and advocates featured in the film call for changes to the way the military handles sexual assault, such as shifting prosecution away from unit commanders, who often are either friends with assailants or are assailants themselves.

In 2010, 108,121 veterans screened positive for military sexual trauma, and 68,379 had at least one Veterans Health Administration outpatient visit for related conditions. Also in 2010, The Department of Defense processed reports of 3,198 new assaults but estimated the actual number of assaults to be closer to 19,000. However, these reports only resulted in convictions against 244 perpetrators.