Looking across the room, a provocatively dressed girl in military uniform captures my attention. Its considered a classic World War Two Pin-up, created by Alberto Vargas. These pop-culture posters were so ubiquitous during the second world war, with millions of copies made. But there is something strangely ironic about this image. For a moment it becomes a difficult sight to behold, certainly less desirable now that I have seen The Invisible war.
Kori Cioca can only eat soft foods and consume liquids. Her jaw was completely broken after being hit in the face. The punch was so hard, in fact, that she would now require bone transplants. She was refused treatment from the VA medical system, as she doesn`t qualify for medical care, because she did not finish her full term of duty. She was raped while serving in the US Coast Guard.
But Kori is just one of the thousands of woman and men who have been sexually assaulted while serving in the United states Armed forces, in some cases by their own commanding officers. The most deplorable part is their recollections of how their please for help were swept under the rug – a reminder of how an injustice system contradicts its own values. There has always been a sense of pride in the Armed forces, a pseudo-military macho culture. Authority, unity, respect and loyalty is demanded, but has turned into such a contradictory narrative in comparison to what we see in so many war dramas. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common amongst those men and women who have survived battle and sexual assaults.
This powerful documentary film by Kirby Dick, however, is not only an expose` of a widespread epidemic, or the very flawed and neglecting character the Armed forces` legal system upholds, but a cry for help for the victims whom seldom get assistance from the very system which is suppose to protect them. Instead they are demonized as the perpetrators, threatened, subjugated to demotion in rank and, worst of all, plainly ignored.
In the 2011 Department of Defense report figures, more than 3,000 cases of sexual assault cases were officially reported. 25% of woman did not report their sexual assaults because they`re commanding officer was the accused. Less than 7% of those accused were court martial-ed and convicted of rape. This is hardly a positive ratio in favour of the victims. However, two days after seeing The Invisible War film, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a new order that would allow such reports to by-pass the commanding officer, although many cases still remain dire and under the radar.
If the strongest military in the world have such horrific scandals I have to believe that the problem is universal. Thankfully films like The Invisible War bring change to an on-going invisible war. “There`s the right way, the wrong way and the army way.” Voice your concern and support on invisiblewarmovie.com/