Did you know that over 500,000 women in the US military have been sexually assaulted? Or that 80% of survivors don’t report due to fear & stigma? It is this shameful and under-reported truth that award-winning filmmaker, Kirby Dick, explores in The Invisible War.
The Invisible War is a 2012 documentary film written about sexual assault in the United States military. The film features interviews with veterans from multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces who recount the events surrounding their assaults. The film follows several survivors of sexual assault as they rebuild their lives and seek justice from an unyielding military system that promotes perpetrators and punishes victims of sexual violence. The survivors and advocates featured in the film call for changes to the way the military handles sexual assault.
Following the screening, a panel including Noémi Mercier, author of a recent exposé on sexual violence within the Canadian military published by L’actualité and Maclean’s magazine, Julie S. Lalonde, founder of Hollaback! Ottawa and developer of bystander intervention project Draw the Line, and moderator Caitlin Maxwell, feminist lawyer and researcher of sexual violence in the Canadian military, discussed issues of sexual violence in Canada’s military and communities, and participated in a Q&A. Opening remarks were made by Colonel (Ret’d) Michel W. Drapeau, lawyer, professor and former Director, National Defense Headquarters Secretariat and Secretary, Armed Forces Council. There were approximately 50 persons in attendance, including students, faculty, members of the nonprofit sector, and media.
Photos courtesy of Su Hum, Photo Luma