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The Invisible War is a 2012 documentary film written and directed by Kirby Dick about sexual assault in the United States military. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the U.S. Documentary Audience Award.
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.
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.
Release date(s) January 20, 2012 (Sundance Film Festival)
June 22, 2012 (USA
User Votes: 8.0
Genres: Documentary, Crime, Drama, History,
Runtime: 93 minutes