Independent Lens: The Invisible War

About This Episode


Today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Invisible War is a moving indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling several women’s struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. Featuring interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress, the documentary reveals the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.

At the core of the film are the often heart-rending interviews with rape survivors like Kori Cioca, who was beaten and raped by her supervisor in the U.S. Coast Guard; Ariana Klay, a Marine who served in Iraq before being raped by a senior officer and his friend, then threatened with death; and Trina McDonald who was drugged and raped repeatedly by military policemen on her remote Naval station in Adak, Alaska. And it isn’t just women; according to one study, one percent of men in the military were reportedly sexually assaulted in 2009.

The Invisible War exposes the epidemic of sexual assault in the military - one of the most under-reported stories of our generation - in a documentary the filmmakers hope will help lead to a national dialogue about the crime of rape perpetrated on the very people who have pledged to protect our country.