When we think of sexual violence in war, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur, Liberia, or Colombia etc often comes to mind, seldom do we consider it a "western" problem. Research in recent years and the the documentary film the Invisible War forces us to rethink sexual violence in conflict. It is not "just" a problem affecting civilians, it is rampant among the U.S. military forces as well. In an Reuters article published on the 21st of January the author Sharon Waxman writes:
"Rape in the American armed forces is an issue that has quietly been gathering attention over the past decade. But it exploded with the power of suppressed fury at the screening on Friday afternoon of the documentary “The Invisible War,” a devastating indictment of the government’s inaction on the issue. Director Kirby Dick brought a powerful weapon to his film: victim after eloquent victim of rape by Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force veterans assaulted by fellow officers, supervisors, recruits. They tell their stories in courageous detail, and it quickly becomes clear that these are not isolated incidents but a pattern reflective of a widespread rot within America’s military institution, one that betrays its essential values."
After decades of silence women serving in the U.S. military are finally speaking out about sexual violence. It is estimated that 500,000 women have been sexually assaulted and that one in three female service members are raped during their service. It is time that the public, politicians, media, and the army itself took this problem seriously. The Invisible War is a good initiative that hopefully will awaken the public and open the eyes of politicians to this pandemic.
Watch the trailer for the Invisible War bellow:
For more information on the Invisible War visit: http://invisiblewarmovie.com/
Read more about sexual violence in the U.S army here:
'Invisible War' Exposes Widespread Rape, Cover-Up in U.S. Military
Rape in the U.S. Military: America's Dirty Little Secret http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/09/rape-us-military