The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands. Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. The Invisible War features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change. — (C) Official Site
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In 2013, two male officers convicted by courts martial of sexual assault were given clemency consisting of having their convictions set aside by respective three-star generals, Lieutenant Generals Craig Franklin of the Third Air Force and Susan Helms of the 14th Air Force, Air Force Space Command and Joint Functional Component Command for Space, US Strategic Command. In a six-page memorandum, Franklin outlined each piece of evidence in the case which caused him to conclude that there had not been proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the accused’s guilt. Helms provided her rationale in a Memorandum For Record, posted on the Air Force FOIA Website In her 6-page memo, she outlined why the prosecution had not proven its case for sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt. Her memo includes, verbatim, the specific standard of evidence directed by the military judge at trial, and her lawyer agreed with her assessment of the case. However, as noted in her MFR, she did uphold Capt Herrera’s conviction for a lesser sexual crime of Indecent Act, leading to his discharge from the Air Force.
The clemency cases combined in public attention in May 2013 with the arrest for sexual battery of an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program. The Lieutenant Colonel was prosecuted by civilian authorities in Arlington, Virginia, and was unanimously acquitted by a civilian jury of even committing the lesser offense of assault and battery. The issue of sexual assault in the military then received new, sharp attention from President Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, among others. Congressional concern over these events and the issue also brought Marines General Jim Amos, Air Force General Mark Welsh and the Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley to testify on the subject.
Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey was quoted saying, “We’re losing the confidence of the women who serve that we can solve this problem…. That’s a crisis.” Secretary Hagel “ordered the retraining and recertification of U.S. military personnel whose job it is to work to prevent sexual assault and assist the victims”. In Congress, the “Military Justice Improvement Act” was announced. The act “would mean that trained military prosecutors, not commanding officers, would decide whether sexual assault cases should go to trial, according to a group of at least 16 U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives behind the legislation. It also would mean commanders cannot set aside the conviction of anyone who has been found guilty of sexual assault or downgrade a conviction to a lesser offense”, per Reuters.Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were amongst the sponsoring congress members and Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and others reportedly joined as cosponsors. Co-sponsor Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9), who once worked as a rape crisis counselor, said, “It is clear that something is not working.”
I got a BCD and am I proud of it.. i told them the ends do not justify the means at my court martial.. They sent me to Portsmith ( federal prison) for insubordination. Military sucks, military sucks, they don’t have discipline, they only have lying fear mongering. Just the kind of loser lifers who would applaud Bush when he told them the war of aggression against Iraq has ended in victory. But he was lying, huh. But so do they . so what?
The real problem here is a definite lack of discipline. Military discipline is based on fear. It doesn’t work. The moral authority of the US military does not exist. They require mindless killers to perform the wars of aggression which destroy freedom and human lives.These are the guys who most police forces are hiring. So is it any wonder, just the protect the guilty rapist safe within a warrior culture are doing 100 swat raids a day on American homes, with the majority of those assaulted being totally innocent/ The do what thou will, secret society Bohemian Grove mindset now, legally rules the US. The constitution is dead. The sodomite and gommorahites have taken control. Having murdered 50 million of our own children, it is quite exactly what we deserve. Peace and safety, not ever again for anyone. It’s every mans hand against his brother/
I don’t see any of this movie meant to create a controversy of whether women should or should not be in the military. It is law. Changing the law based on whoever’s feelings of right or wrong is not at the issue of this. The issue is that these are wounded soldiers, seriously wounded, ongoing wounded. There is no prosthetic device to fix this. There have been armies and wars since the beginning of time. War is ugly; the need for armies saddening. The focus needs to be how to fix this. How do we protect our soldiers on or off the battlefield, ALL soldiers?
I can see what that guy was saying about how this kind of thing is bound to happen, we teach what are basically still children to murder innocent people for a living and tell them it’s to protect our freedom and we don’t expect them to do something like rape? Rape seems pretty tame considering how they fuck these patriots over mentally by lying to them about what they’re doing for this country. Rape is never right and there is no excuse for it, but we’re raising cold blooded murderers here. Another thing, we’re still animals. Conscience doesn’t change our primal instincts one bit.
The movie is amazing and is working for a very important cause, but the fact remains is that the US is a disgusting place. You are trying to awaken awareness on female rape in the military while still being brainwashed by this patriotism propaganda. Open your eyes, everyone sees it but you.
53:40 The root of all stupidity
Watching this from Ireland I actually gasped aloud when I read that the court decreed that rape is an occupational hazard for women soldiers.
To this day women in Ireland are treated as second-class citizens in a country which until recently was ruled by the catholic church that habitually raped, sodomized, enslaved and mentally and physically abused children in their care. Without an independent judicial reporting system these abuses were perpetuated for years and years and were almost without exception ignored. Far from prosecuting and excommunicating paedophile clergy the catholic church merely moved them to other parishes, enabling them to continue their vile crimes in different locations.
Self-policing agencies are as effective as chocolate teapots. These are violent crimes against PEOPLE, people whose lives and families have been destroyed by the sexual urges of those who consider themselves untouchable. I commend these women for their courage in a)joining the military services and b) coming forward to tell their stories. I wish them all peace and resolution in their lives.
An excellent, thought-provoking film that is thoroughly deserving of the critical acclaim it has received.
I keep adding comments which never get posted. I think we should be told why. An anxious public awaits……….
Sincere` apologies for suggested censorship!…..I’ve just spotted my previous comment. I sit corrected!!
Sincere` apologies for suggestion censorship!…..I’ve just spotted my previous comment. I sit corrected!!
Let’s see if you censor this comment? This tragedy is an unfolding American societal problem born of a nation whose very genesis was the destruction of a well functioning and well balanced society where the male/female dynamic worked in perfect harmony i.e the North American Indians. It was replaced by the cruel and dsyfunctional, male dominated society that you have today most sharply characterised by the obscene behaviour of male military personnel. The pivotal role of women in society is the feminisation of the uncouth. insensitive and unconstructed male psyche; not to compete with men on their own terms. The feminist movement achieved a pyrrhic victory beyond their wildest dreams but at the tragic cost of losing their feminine souls. In short according to Tovi Browning In Femophobia – How Women Have Become Men, by beating men at their own game by being men, women were expected to respond in kind to modern man’s insistence for instant gratification of his crude sexual desires. This results not just in the wholesale destruction of vast numbers of women but is in fact the preamble to the destruction of society as a whole.
R u kidding? Native American culture treated women horribly ! Maybe there were exceptions but for most part women were property and slaves in native American culture. And the reservations in America have an even bigger rape problem than military. Rape of native on native is epidemic and always blamed on the girl..always!!! Lisa Ling did a great “This american life “about it. Really? Native Americans treated women fairly? No way!
“When you deny man his spirituality, you deny him his humanity and render him a biped beast!” America from its’ very inception was a country whose obsession with material acquisition was unfettered and insatiable. The creation of a country which. according to Fromm in 1958 became “production crazy and consumption crazy” leads to the absolute moral bankrupt society you have today. If you take issue with me on this, just view the hundreds of insightful documentaries, almost exclusively made by Americans confirming this view. With respect, the problem here is not with men in the military, it’s lies in the sexualisation of young boys and girls at a very young age an implicit message to girls that the way to success in this male dominated society is “to be sexy and available.” . How on earth can you expect men to respect women when all the message and all the indicators from the mass media confirm that women are just playthings for men to exploit? The “leaders” of your society know this and they also know that the situation is way out of control, too big to fix so they deny it by their feeble attempts at cover ups. I was in tears many times watching this horrendous exposure of the raw, uncouth and unconstructed aspect of the male psyche, but what was so crushing was the scene near the end, when all the evidence pointed to the contrary; the claim for compensation for rape was denied by the Vets association. For the record, Fromm concludes that the only outcome for a society with no spiritual values and which is so morally destitute, is self destruction! Unfortunately the only thing certain here is that America is beyond redemption.
This is horrible! But there is a major risk that this will continue if nothing is changed.
To put a girl (age 18-30) in to a unit with 10-40 boys (age 18-30), is irresponsible! Specially if they have to be together 24/7. The hormones boys have durring that age, is not something they can control (not taking away that they still are accountable). When you have a person having mandate over another person, there will always be misuse of authority. You can find this in privet sector as well. One solution for this (NOT THE BEST), would be if they setup separate units for women, as they did for blacks. This will make the army to understand the valu to have women in the force.
These stories are insane … and the word is surely being spread out , I come from Malta a very small island in the Mediterranean sea you probably dont even know about …. Wishing you all the luck to progress and catch these horrible creatures … honestly people caught doing that type of actions should be sentenced to that . END OF FUCKEN STORY !
Good luck with WAshington – they don’t care about you, either. Your government is a pack of criminals, so no wonder that criminals in the military are protected.
“Rape is an occupational hazard of military service” a ruling that should shame all
For those of you with the view that “Women should never place themselves in the military”, should really think on that… How about, the military SHOULDN’T accept RAPISTS. I’ve always critically analysed the military, but never have I considered or, thought of ‘rape’ as being so high.
As an Australian, this makes me wonder about my countries own army corps…
It appears that while there are increasing numbers of women in the military, the number of people who should rightly be called ‘men’ is declining.
Wow, I’m really bothered by the comments asserting these women weren’t smart for joining the military and thereby increasing their chances of getting raped. Because a woman in male-dominated spaces should expect that some jerk is going to force himself between her legs?
Do you realize you’re suggesting that men just can’t help themselves? That men have a natural inclination to commit violence? Ever consider since we can agree that the environment is a little sick we should try to rectify this hyper-masculine behavior instead of just naturalizing the problem as a boy will be boys situation.
So this is why women shouldn’t be in military? What about this is why we need to start having a conversation about masculinity, violence, and gender equality?
She should wear her seatbelt.
Pretty fucking horrible. I’m glad they fought back.
I find it a little worrying that so many of the comments here are saying that this is proof that women just shouldn’t be in the military. Women have every right to serve in any job they want, and they are equally capable of performing the majority of tasks that men perform. The solution to this problem is not to take women out of the military, but for the military to have a zero tolerance policy on rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. This type of behaviour occurs because these men feel that they can get away with it. Comments like the ones I mentioned only served to validate the notion that men just can’t control themselves and that women are to blame for putting themselves in a situation where they could be raped. It is a pathetic cop-out.
It’s not that they don’t have a right to serve in the military. It’s more that it’s just not a smart decision to choose a career in which your likelihood of getting raped on the job at some point in time is up to 1/3 (I think I read somewhere about 1/3 of women in the military have been raped while serving).
Yes, they have the right. They have the right to choose this job, they have the right to choose any job. They have the right, but it’s not smart. You have the right to put your face next to the mouth of a rabid dog, but it’s not smart. You have the right to choose a career in which you’re surrounded by sexually frustrated males who are being trained in violence and hatred, but it’s not smart.
I think that it’s sad that so many women get raped, and I’m not saying that them making a stupid decision means they should get raped. I’m just pointing out that it is, in the end, a stupid decision. One that they have a right to make, of course.
you’re forgetting that it’s not only about women, because there are also cases of men getting raped, it’s not that women shouldn’t join the military, is that MEN have to learn NOT TO RAPE, why do women have to be the only ones taking care of themselves? why nobody teaches men to respect? it’s a double moral, blame the girl even though the guy was the one committing the crime, for example when kids do something wrong to another kid, the kid that did it gets grounded or whatever, then why in the adult society, the kid who did nothing wrong is the one who has to look out and is the one that “gets grounded”? bullshit
Sorry I have a vagina and can be raped. I didn’t choose to be a women, I’ll just get a sex change so I can serve in the military. The women should NOT have to choose their career because of the likelyhood of getting raped. If someone is raped that should be the exception to the situation, and NOT the rule.
I am left feeling really outraged. My heart goes out to those women who have received the worst that the military can give out – injustice.
Women should not be in the Army. Period.
you are a misoginyst. period.
…brainwashed, nazi scum. That’s ALL they are.
Suffer. I have no sympathy for ANY of these American scum. Suffer like the innocents you murdered in Iraq.
One of the best documentaries I have seen posted on this site in a while, the 10/10 is more than deserved for this piece…. On a sarcastic note, the chem trails at 1:04:00 are absolutely beautiful!
Women should never place themselves in the military. Somethings are wonderful ideas in theory. In practice, you can’t deny the millitary is a harsh environment filled with the testosterone of violence and the idea of power and respect. These women are seen as potentially dangerous to the institution that defends the country. They will never receive the attention of the reward they want, even though they deserve it . I am very sorry for each one of the victims. I would not allow my daughter to choose this path without showing her this. Somethings in this life you just can’t fix. The violent nature of the male will continue. Doing justice will only give people more sagacity in how to continue doing these kinds of acts and cover it up better. The brotherhood of the military will protect themselves. The damage is done. The miliitary will always have predators that will not be screened. What you can do is protect the future women by telling them it is too risky of a situation to be in inasmuch as it is a nice idea and that they can become someone highly skilled. Somethings is better if left alone. No amount of denunciation will change the nature of the male who many times gets distorted. It is a touch situation. I am empathetic of all the women that have been through this.
Military is a suppressive dictatorship. People who joins the military would get involved in murder (under a dictatorship) one way or another. In such an environment, what would you expect to happen when assigning male and female together? The retard who first proposes female and male working together in the military should get shot. They’re not just training female soldiers, they’re also training female soldier prostitutes.
it should be possible for males and females to work together without someone being raped, you are in a way justifying that raping is what men do, and that because they’re such savages then women are the ones that have to do all the work of taking care of themselves, how about teaching and educating men NOT to VIOLATE someone else’s space?? the military doesn’t create female soldier prostitutes, it encourages male CRIMINALS and gives them more knowledge about weapons and fighting techniques, and then after their service there, they are free to walk around in your neighborhood, maybe planning an attack on your mom, sister, daughter, etc…
Are you kidding me? A female soldier is RAPED and that makes her a prostitute? You do realize the difference between voluntary sex for money and a violent sexual attack without the victims consent? You truly are a disgusting human being. Have fun living in the stone age.
Did you read properly? Under a suppressive dictatorship, mixing male and female soldiers will ultimately create such a problem especially in a male dominated industry (military). I didn’t call these victims prostitutes. I just said they were forced and been made into soldier prostitutes (alike) under such system.
I understand this film can be emotion as I am offended as well. But please don’t determine people’s words with your emotions. That’s just going to end this discussion with a fight.
It’s plain for everyone to see. Your a simpleton drawing comparisons between apples and oranges.
It’s “You’re”. You think you know the difference between apples and oranges but you don’t know the difference between “Your” and “You’re”. You might want to make yourself look smart enough by using the right word before you try to undermine others…
haha complete child
a wonderful documentary. These woman who appeared in the documentary have my respect and admiration. They had the guts and courage that their commanders did not have to persecute the perpetrators of the heinous crimes. I lived for 28 years thinking I was unloved by my mother because she did not like to be hugged by me. But when she was fifty and I took her to the airport and said good bye and I will not kiss or hug you as you do not like it. She told me she loved me but when she was nine years old she was raped by a person who was supposed to be protecting her. And when I hugged her tightly she saw not her son but her rapist. The sad thing was that she had the courage to tell me this as she knew she had only months to live before that cancer killed her and I would not think badly of her as a rape victim. That was 28 years ago and this documentary shows nothing has changed, the value of women has not changed. Woman have the right to have sex with the person they choose to have it with. Any unrequested sexual advances is rape or harassment and the perpetrator/s must suffer the consequences of his/their action/s
That is a story that everyone should know about. The fact that someone might be afraid to tell their son that they were raped because they may be ashamed or embarrassed of having a rape victim for a mom, is so much more tragic than the rape itself. You should know that you were blessed to have an angel as a mother. And in telling you, i hope she found peace for herself.