The Invisible War

The Invisible War is a documentary exposing a rape epidemic in the armed forces, investigating the institutions that perpetuate it as well as its personal consequences. This deftly shows how women and men who are raped by their fellow servicemen are victimized yet again by a system that often punishes victims while shielding (and sometimes even rewarding) perpetrators. The filmmakers focus on exposing the institutionalized barriers to seeking justice. I had no clue that this was going on in our military and the fact that women (and men) are losing their careers and sanity because of these predators is astonishing. What is worse is that commanders and other high-ranking officers are suppressing and burying the evidence as well as the investigations and dishonorably discharging these brave soldiers who are standing up for themselves. It is truly horrendous. Military leaders suppress these cases to avoid affecting their record as leaders. So the military command doesn’t help, and often they will start investigating the victim and turn it around and try to blame the victims. Shameful. It makes me so upset that the men that do this horrible crime aren’t locked up and disciplined. As a veteran, military spouse, army brat and a parent, I know all too well that these things happen daily. I know many victims personally (not those portrayed in this film but military rape victims in general). You will be astounded at how many women (and men) this happens to, and the fact that this is happening in such large numbers is appalling. As a victim who must live with this reality daily, I know this documentary to be a truthful exposure of the facts. My friend of 30 years was in the Marines at LeJeune when in her first year she was repeatedly groped, harassed, and nearly raped by her C.O. — who told her go ahead, try and report it and see what happens. She tried to file complaints and was turned away every time. This shows what military “justice” is not. One of the worst parts is how the government handles these cases. Also shows the struggle of dealing with the VA in trying to collect benefits for rape-related injuries. These women proudly served our country and this is how our government repays them, with pain and shame. It’s embarrassing that our country and government care so little. The thing that shocked me was a statement shown toward the end of the film: “In December 2011, the Court dismissed the survivors’ lawsuit, ruling that rape is an occupational hazard of military service. An appeal has been filed.” I was in tears after reading this. After watching this film, I was grateful that I hadn’t joined one of these branches when I almost did. I had been considering being a doctor for the military and when I told my dad that, he automatically said ‘no’, I don’t want you to, but I didn’t understand. I only saw the military as something as honorable. He told me that bad things happen to females in the military, but I didn’t understand how something so disgusting could happen. I found this documentary and decided to watch it and I am so happy that I did. I couldn’t believe that this happened to these servicewomen and servicemen and I am astonished. Others in my family no longer hold their heads high knowing they proudly served this country to secure freedom for all when the very military they served in makes people slaves and victims. If my children want to join when they are older I will do everything to stop them. The documentary made me feel bitter toward every military branch. And it scares me to realize that the perpetrators, who often go scot-free or are even promoted, may one day mix amongst us civilians without our knowing. They could create new victims in workplaces and in our neighborhoods. Absolutely fantastic exposé of an issue that any man who has worn a uniform in the service of this country should be ashamed of!!! Important story and excellent storytelling. This film is heartbreaking, powerful, and absolutely worth watching. I promise you will be stunned by what you see and hear. A tremendously moving and engaging documentary. Thought-provoking, gut wrenching and terribly aggravating to watch — powerful, eye-opening & absolutely appalling. This film stirred a lot of emotion in me. It is not only moving but extremely heartbreaking. This absolutely outraged me! I am so grateful someone made this documentary. For the women and men who courageously shared their testimonies and unveiled their pain, thank you. Kudos to Kirby Dick and his team for bringing this important issue to our attention. If you think that rape in the military happens because of “a few bad apples,” watch this Oscar-nominated film. This film should be required viewing for anyone considering joining the US military. You may think you know the issue, but this film teaches you more. Every potential female soldier needs to be required to watch this documentary during their recruitment process. Every parent with little girls should watch this documentary in order to protect them from potential harm in the event that they join the armed forces. Everyone, especially members of the Armed Forces Committee should see this film. I hope it makes a difference. THIS IS A MUST-SEE FOR ALL! Documentary 2012 NR 1hr 37m.

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