Tag Archives: The Invisible War

Right Now: Tell Congress to Do the Right Thing by Military Sexual Assault Survivors and Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

Do you want to help survivors of military sexual assault? Then take a moment to read this, and then click on the link to contact your local representative in Congress and tell them to vote for the Military Justice Improvement Act.

Few people want to get involved regarding the issue of rape. That’s one of the reasons why it’s such an ongoing crisis in our country–it’s got crippling stigma attached to it, and shame, and victim-blaming. Nowhere is that more pronounced than in our military.

invisible warI’m on the email list for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering, the creators of the outstanding documentary, “The Invisible War,” a film about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military. I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

Right now, the Invisible War team is sending out this call for action. Please read it, and please respond. If you visit this website, it means on some level you care about this issue. So please take the time to do something about it.

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From Kirby and Amy:

It’s been a busy few weeks here in our Los Angeles office, in Washington, and across the country when it comes to sexual assault. As we watch the conversation unfold and expand in the news, we know there is so much more to do to make sure survivors everywhere get the justice they deserve.

Let’s start with Washington, DC. This week the Pentagon released their annual survey on sexual assault. The report was damning.

It found:

  • Less than 3 of 10 service members have enough trust in the system to report a crime.
  • Two-thirds of those who did report an assault say they faced some form of retaliation, and
  • The number of service members willing to put their name on a report decreased when compared to last year.

This is unacceptable and exactly why Congress must pass the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) and fix this broken system.

Our men and women in uniform deserve better. They deserve justice. And this week Congress has a chance to see that they get it. Before the end of the week the Senate will vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This gives them another opportunity to do the right thing and pass the MJIA. Take a minute now and send Congress a message that it’s past time to deliver justice for military sexual assault survivors.

CLICK HERE and tell Congress to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act today.

_PassMJIA.png

But it’s not just the military, or Congress, that has work to do.

When we toured the country to screen THE INVISIBLE WAR we visited dozens of college campuses and met with thousands of students and began hearing stories from survivors of campus sexual assault. Like the stories that inspired us to make THE INVISIBLE WAR, their stories were powerful, poignant and we realized, all too common. We knew we had to take action.

So we began work on another film, this time to shine a light on the epidemic of campus assault. We’re honored so many courageous survivors and advocates have trusted us to bring their stories into the light, and we are thrilled to share that our new film, THE HUNTING GROUND, is premiering next month at the Sundance Film Festival.

The #NotInvisible community has been an incredible source of support for survivors of sexual assault — in the military and beyond. We hope that THE HUNTING GROUND will create a space for a new community to come together. And we hope you’ll be a part of that conversation too.

Together, we can help ensure that no survivor –- whether a service member or a student, has to stand alone. Together, we are #NotInvisible.

Thank you for all you do,
Amy and Kirby

Amy and Kirby, THE INVISIBLE WAR
http://www.notinvisible.org/

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Documentary Exposing Military Rape Scandal Premieres on PBS Tonight

Note from Amy: This email was from the filmmakers who made “The Invisible War,” a groundbreaking film that dives into the difficult issue of military sexual assault. I’m on their email list as someone who cares about the issue and because they interviewed me as a journalist for the film. I hope you take their plea to heart and tune in to watch this very worthy documentary:

Tonight, our award-winning investigative documentary – the film that sparked this movement to expose the epidemic of rape within the military – premieres nationally on PBS.

 

You’ve been with us through this long fight, and tonight is a moment we can all share as a community. But not everyone knows the importance of this issue. In addition to tuning in, will you help spread our message once more and find a friend to watch with? CLICK HERE to get details and find your local TV listing.

 

Having THE INVISIBLE WAR broadcast on national television, providing public access to stories like Trina and Kori’s, couldn’t come at a more critical time.

As you may have heard, last week, the Department of Defense released the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) annual report, and it showed a significant spike in assaults – an increase of 35% over the last year. Over 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in 2012 alone. Moreover, the report came out two days after an Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention was himself arrested for sexual battery. It’s clear as ever: the military does not understand the plague within its ranks.

One of our champions in Congress, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said it best:
“If the man in charge for the Air Force – in preventing sexual assault – is being alleged to have committed a sexual assault this weekend, obviously there’s a failing in training and understanding of what sexual assault is and how corrosive and damaging it is to good order and discipline.”

Military sexual assault isn’t just making headlines on Capitol Hill. Over the past week, President Obama also spoke out, saying that he has “no tolerance” for sexual assault. Adding, “they’ve got to be held accountable – prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged, period.”

For those 26,000 servicemen and women who survived assault last year, and the thousands more survivors, the news is promising but the fight is far from over. We must keep up the momentum and continue to take action until change is realized and “Zero Tolerance” becomes “Zero Occurrence.”

So tonight, as you tune in to PBS, share why this fight means so much to you – enlist one friend to help ensure military rape is #NotInvisible.

Onward,
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering

http://www.notinvisible.org/

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Because Thoroughly Tackling the Topic of Military Sexual Assault is No Small Feat: The Invisible War is Nominated for an Oscar

If you had told me ten years ago that rape in the U.S. military would become a mainstream topic, I’d have laughed at you.

Decade after decade, after each sexual assault scandal such as Tailhook or the Air Force Academy, politicians would trumpet their outrage and military officials would swear they’d muster reform, like a hardened criminal making desperate, insincere promises to a parole board.

In 2003, while Miles Moffeit and I were researching for,  “Betrayal in the Ranks,” our three-part series about military sexual assault and domestic violence, reporters in Kentucky called us with a cautionary tale of how their publisher pulled a similar story of theirs, axing it because the U.S. had invaded Iraq and it seemed unpatriotic to call the military to task.

Thankfully, that love affair is over.

invisible warLast January, a film premiered at Sundance called “The Invisible War.” It tackled the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military and dissected it with a painstaking, surgical attention to detail.

The filmmakers invited me to attend the premier because I’m interviewed in the film about my work covering the issue of military sexual assault, primarily the series I coauthored with Miles called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

Afterward, I listened to all the talk from the politicians and the military officials, inwardly rolled my eyes, and waited for the apathy to once again roll in.

Well, halleluiah, my cynicism has been smacked down.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta viewed the film on April 14, 2012.  Two days later, Panetta ordered that all military sexual assault cases were to be handled by senior officers, ostensibly taking such cases away from potentially biased commanders who wouldn’t want the notoriety or disruption of a sexual assault investigation in their own unit.

Then over the summer, the Marines put together a new protocol for combating sexual assault. And just this month, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for this fiscal year. This time, it included reforms aimed at the issue of military sexual assault, including policies to prevent retaliation against those who report.

Meanwhile, the public and the media have flung themselves fully into the fray, backing “The Invisible War” with enthusiastic reviews and using social media to propel the issue forward.

Now “The Invisible War” has oh so deservedly been nominated for an Oscar.  As a result, I’m heartened that a whole new audience will now pay attention–and that someday, soldiering in the U.S. will no longer be associated with rape.

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What’s More Important: Rape of Tens of Thousands of Soldiers or Somebody’s Affair?

I wish everyone would calm down about the CIA adulterous scandal and become enraged over a much more important issue: sexual assault, including sexual assault in the U.S. military.

-This is what I’ve been thinking for several days now, and then someone did an excellent job of putting that into words by writing about the stunning documentary, “The Invisible War,” a film about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military, giving it proper context over the latest salacious story about Paula Broadwell.

I’m on the email list for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering, the creators of that outstanding Sundance award-winning documentary, “The Invisible War,”, and they sent me the below link to the piece that ran Monday in the Huffington Post.  I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

So please, take the time to read the story, and then forward the link to a friend. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta needs to turn his attention to “The Invisible War” and the issues it exposes, not media hype about emails and affairs.

From The Huffington Post: “The real scandal is that this type of behavior — stumbled upon via highly questionable investigative practices — is what garners nonstop media coverage and glaring headlines while a real military sexual scandal, our U.S. military’s horrific rape epidemic, affecting tens of thousands of our service members (annually!!), goes unreported and ignored.” Read more.

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“The Invisible War”: Because It’s Time to Talk About the Sexual Predators in the Military

Please show your support for the opening of the gripping documentary “The Invisible War” in Denver this weekend.

Here is the eflier:
http://www.notinvisible.org/eflier_denver

And here’s the information for the theater, below. The film opens on Friday night, June 29, and I’m going to be there on Saturday evening, June 30, for a Q & A directly following the showing of the 7 p.m. feature (exact time still to be announced by the theater). I’ll be discussing the issue and my role in the film, and why this is a cause near and dear to my heart.

“The Invisible War”
Harkins Northfield 18
8300 East Northfield Blvd
Denver, CO 80238

Even if you can’t attend, you can show your support by forwarding this link to everyone you know. The film is opening in cities around the country–maybe there’s a theater showing it near you. If so, you should watch it, because I guarantee it will impact you forever.

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“The Invisible War,” a Scathing Expose About Sexual Assault in the Military, Needs Your Help

Nobody likes to talk about rape.

That’s one of the reasons why it’s such an ongoing crisis in our country–it’s got that crippling stigma attached to it, and shame, and victim-blaming. Nowhere is that more pronounced than in our military.

I’m on the email list for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering, the creators of the outstanding documentary, “The Invisible War,” a film about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military. I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

Right now, the Invisible War team need your help.

The good news is, the New York Times has taken notice of this incredibly important issue by profiling the film in “Heroes, Villains and The Invisible,” written by Stephen Holden.

The article calls “The Invisible War” one of three festival films devoted to women’s rights,” and has said that “none of the films previewed matched the impact of “The Invisible War.”

The great news here is that the story is currently #16 on the NYT’s Most Popular List (Most Emailed and The Most Viewed, to be exact).

Let’s move that up. You can help show the media, and the public, and anyone else who is paying attention that these issues matter.

Go here and Share the article with a friend, Tweet and/or Post to Facebook:
Heroes, Villains and the Invisible

Please HELP!  Go to this link ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/movies/human-rights-watch-film-festival-at-lincoln-center.html) and

  • EMAIL to a friend
  • Share on Facebook
  • Tweet – here’s a sample Tweet that you can also send without going to the article link:

    • Heroes, Villains and the Invisible http://nyti.ms/MKZz3b#NotInvisible@Invisible_War gets due notice TKU @nytimesin theatres 6.22

Thanks very much,

Amy

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A Mother Who Lost Her Daughter to Rape Searches for Answers

How awful to know that your daughter was raped, and that her attacker was someone she was supposed to trust.

Now imagine being told that after all she had endured, your daughter killed herself, and you’ll know what Suzie is going through.

Suzie contacted me after reading a blog I posted to this website about The Invisible War,  a gripping documentary about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military. I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post about sexual assault and domestic violence in the U.S. military called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”

But back to Suzie–here’s part of what she said:

“My daughter was sexually assaulted 3 times in her 3 and a half years in the Army. Twice on American soil, once during her year being deployed in Afghanistan. It culminated in her taking her own life after being told she was bi-polar or borderline personality disorder… She said they wanted to get rid of her and not the rapist. Please help me find truth for all of these men and women whom have had to endure what our own HOMELAND SECURITY could have prevented!!!! God Bless!! I AM NOT FINISHED WITH THIS!”

Her tragic story drives home this point: Whether a rapist is stalking women on the streets of Denver or within his own military unit, we’re enabling him as long as we allow our systems to put victims through hell for reporting their assaults.

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