Review: The Invisible War

 

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The documentary focuses on the stories and experiences of a few women who joined in the lawsuit that led to the verdict that their experiences were an “occupational hazard.” Their accusations were ignored or often not investigated, rarely led to prosecution and almost never led to conviction. Those few who were convicted were usually sentenced to less than a year. Some of the accusers were themselves court-martialed. One wonders if military training and discipline itself help create such a culture. Complaining is a weakness. Even some military anti-rape campaigns send a mixed message; incredibly, one poster advises men: “Don’t risk it — wait until she sobers up.”

Until this documentary, there was no way to go above your commander to report a rape. Defense Dept. Secretary Leon Panetta saw this film, and two days later, issued an order changing that practice. But the over-all problem remains. Rape is twice as common in the military as in civilian life, and “an estimated 15 percent of recruits attempted or committed rape before entering service.”

The numbers are gut wrenching, it’s hard to believe that this is actually happening with in our military. But we have to face it, and something needs to be done. I know that when I was in the military we had SHARP (sexual harassment/assault response prevention) classes that were mandatory each month. These classes no one took seriously, they were a joke.

This documentary is hard to watch but so worth it. I’ve seen it happen to friends, they reported the sexual assault and nothing was done or they themselves got punished. My one friend was deployed and was sexually assaulted and reported it and nothing was done expect she got put on extra missions and barely got any sleep and was told to not bring it up again. It was all because the person who assaulted her was friends with the people she reported it to and no one wanted to deal with it. They said she had made it up.

Please if you have time, watch this documentary and learn what is happening!

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