Thursday, July 5, 2012
"The Invisible War"
The military community exists as a close-knit group of individuals who share experiences of camaraderie, loss, and battle. Currently, 1.85 million of these service members are women. Women have broken new ground on the battlefield and at home, making careers in the military. “The Invisible War,” a new documentary directed by Kirby Dick, investigates the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. Surprisingly, the rate of sexual assault within the military is approximately double of that in the civilian world, and in the last decade there have been hundreds of thousands of rape occurrences.
At the center of the film, there are interviews with rape survivors, women who wanted to serve their country and ended up being abandoned after they suffered sexual trauma. Kori Cioca, a former U.S. Coast Guard seaman, recounts how she was beaten and raped by her supervisor. Suffering from PTSD and anxiety, as well as living with a irreparably fractured jaw, she continues to have nightmares about the attack. Filing disability claims with VA, she has been denied coverage for jaw surgery, but several benefactors have stepped forward to finance her surgery. Ariana Klay, a former Marine officer, was stationed at Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., where a senior officer and his friend raped her. “The Invisible War” contains a handful of these stories, and all of them end the same. None of the perpetrators were convicted or punished for the crime of rape, and in most of these stories the women were charged with adultery and unacceptable conduct.
(Photos: Top: Kori Cioca, US Coast Guard, and husband Rob in an emotional interview. Middle: Ariana Klay in Marine Dress blues. Bottom: Marine Lt. Elle Helmar at the Vietnam War Memorial. Photos courtesy of Cinedigm/Docurama Films.)