Documentary film exposes “The Invisible War” in the U.S. military

Submitted by Devin Elizalde

One of the biggest and well-kept secrets of the U.S. is the number and frequency of sexual assaults on military service women by their fellow comrades. In the 2012 documentary The Invisible War, filmmaker Kirby Dick investigates how over 500,000 female service members have experienced sexual assault with little to no justice.

The film will be shown on April 14 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Second Saturday Documentary Series at Niles Discovery Church. The screening is free and open to the public.

Only 8 per cent of known cases are prosecuted with a marginally low 2 per cent conviction rate. The documentary features interviews with several women from different military branches, who bravely share the details of their assaults and the chain of events that followed. Along with sharing their stories some of the women record their daily lives and routines as assault victims.

The Invisible War reveals an absence of emotional and physical treatment for assault victims, lack of an impartial judicial process, reprisals against victims instead of those found guilty of sexual assault, uninterrupted promotion of perpetrators, and forced discharge of the victims from the armed services.

The film also takes an in-depth look at several sexual abuse scandals in the U.S. military — including Tailhook (1991, Navy), Aberdeen (1996, Army), Air Force Academy (2003), and Marine Barracks Washington (2012).

The film screening will be followed by discussion.

The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. Learn more about the series at

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