Film Analysis: The Invisible War

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Twenty percent of women are sexually assaulted while serving in the United States Armed Forces (Dick, 2012). The Invisible War, a powerful investigative documentary, exposes one of the United States’ best-kept secrets: the rape epidemic within the military. The film puts forth an idea of how big this problem actually is in American society – today, a woman is more likely to be sexually assaulted or rape while serving than to be injured or killed by the enemy’s hand (Dick, 2012). Focusing on victims’ stories and accounts of their attacks, The Invisible War exposes the corruption and secrecy of our government in regards to one of the most under-reported social issues in history. Produced in 2012, the director, Kirby Dick, wished to put forth…show more content…
This number is a gross underestimate, as about 80% of victims choose not to report their attackers to authorities. The number is assumed to be closer to about 750,000 women, and the number is growing everyday (Dick, 2012). Many women in the armed forces choose not to report due to the fear of being reprimanded by their commanders. On many occasions, these men, or even men further up in the hierarchy of the military, are the victim’s assailants, pushing the women even further away from reporting. Many military rape victims find themselves forced to choose between speaking up and keeping the career of their dreams. It is of little surprise that only about 8% of cases of military rape are prosecuted (Dick, 2012). Not only with fear of being punished, ignored, or assaulted by their commanders, women do not want to go through the hassle of attempting to receive victim assistance through the government. In one case demonstrated in the film, a victim, Kori Cioca, filed for disability claims, as she had sustained chronic injuries due to her assault. After 18 months of waiting for a response, she was denied any compensation. In the case of Hannah Sewell, a former member of the US Navy, was raped by a fellow recruit. After 3 investigators were assigned to her case, no charges against her assailant could be filed, due to the “loss” of her rape kit and examinee…show more content…
The physiological affects are uncared for, as well as the psychological affects of sexual assault. Many victims attempt to take their lives before they are able to receive any kind of care, if they are allowed it at all. If victims do choose to report, often times, the investigators assigned to the case are males with a connection to the Armed Forces, who do their best at covering any tracks made by the assailant, so as to keep the problem hidden from the media. Victims are told that there is not enough evidence to prosecute, even if there is physical DNA evidence received from a rape kit. Like Cioca, many sexual assault victims are forced to change their statements so as to shift the blame from the assailant to themselves. Victim blaming within the military runs incredibly rampant. It is no wonder that about half of women choose not to report after hearing of other victim’s negative experiences (Dick,

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