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This is Why We Fight

 

This weekend was transformative, to say the least. Certainly for me, but even for the hundreds of soldiers in the Ohio Army National Guard Battalion 1-174th, who tossed the sexual assault and prevention training manual out the window and instead chose to play THE INVISIBLE WAR during their mandatory annual training.

I had the best experience speaking with them afterwards - something I never thought would be a remote possibility. I wanted to share a note that I received from one of the Captains following the training. I can barely believe this is real.

Please read it and share it and know that each action you take to spread the word about this film, and the epidemic of military sexual assault is making a real difference. In Congress, at the Pentagon, for survivors, and even on military bases across the world - where we need it most. I had my doubts, but it really is true. Together, we are #NotInvisible.

Kori_Ohio_Natl_Gaurd_Battilion_1-174.jpg

To: Kori
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:12 PM
Subject: The Invisible War - Tackling the Tough Topic of Sexual Assault in the Military

This weekend my Battalion in the Ohio Army National Guard had our mandatory
annual sexual assault prevention training. This is typically something that
is dreaded amongst all soldiers, regardless of age or rank. You sit in a
packed, dark room watching a power point presentation with a few video clips
or, as DoD has moved to in recent years, a poorly executed and low budget
film that lasts about an hour. Typically these trainings generate little to
no conversation (other than the whispered jokes between buddies about the
poor acting in the films or what they could be doing instead of sitting in
useless training). Soldiers sit sucking down coffee, Mountain Dew, Monster
Energy drinks or 5 Hour Energy shots and do their best to stay awake. Half
the room is doing the "Blackberry Prayer" - sitting with their head bowed
slightly as if in prayer, with thumbs moving furiously over mobile phones
nestled half concealed in their laps, texting, emailing or surfing the web
in an attempt to stimulate their minds and not nodd off. By the end of the
training, a quarter of the soldiers are standing up along the edges of the
room in a last ditch effort to stay awake - not because they don't want to
miss a second of the enthralling training, but because they don't want to
get caught sleeping by their supervisor. The supervisors half pay attention
to the training and instead stalk around the room in the shadows, hoping to
catch a soldier with their eyes closed and dole out the appropriate
punishment. I have seen, on more than one occasion, a soldier almost fully
asleep while standing up propped against the wall. This same scenario plays
out on a yearly basis in Guard, Reserve and Active Duty units in the Army,
Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard across the world. This much needed
training has been diminished to a "check the block" requirement that almost
no one pays attention to and that certainly no one talks about.

It's no secret that sexual assault and sexual harassment cases are on the
rise at an alarming rate throughout the Military. Multiple high profile
incidents have made their way to the main stream media, causing the pucker
factor for top Military and Government brass to skyrocket and draw an
onslaught of anger and criticism from citizens across the world. While this
trend is considered despicable and an embarrassment to most honorable and
upstanding service members - it's generally still not something talked about
in the open. It's discussed in hushed tones behind closed office doors or
empty hallways. A few concerns are expressed and some armchair quarterback
"solutions" to the problem are tossed around and then then everyone goes on
about their normal routine. What's even worse, in the units where there is
an incident of assault or harassment, most of the time the conversation
centers around the latest rumor - who did what, how did it happen, who was
right, who was wrong, personal opinions and accusations get tossed around,
lines are drawn, sides are taken - and it all still happens in hushed tones
behind closed doors. Rarely is the topic or sexual assault and harassment
discussed openly and frankly in a safe and truthful environment.

All of the above has applied to every unit I've ever been in and is even how
I personally have acted and viewed the mandatory snooze fest that is sexual
assault response and prevention training. Until this weekend.

This weekend my Battalion tossed the Army provided training out the window
and instead chose to play the documentary The Invisible War. I had seen the
documentary about 6 weeks prior. I had heard of the documentary and ordered
the DVD and watched it at home. It was eye opening to say the least. The day
after watching it, I contacted my Battalion Commander and told him I wanted
to play it for my Battery (56 soldiers). I wanted to run it by him first and
see if watching the documentary could satisfy our annual requirement for
sexual assault training. He had seen the documentary as well and surprised
me by taking it one step further - let's play it for the entire Battalion
(approx. 250 soldiers). By chance, a soldier in our Battalion happened to
know one of the females whose story is told in the documentary and mentioned
to her what we were doing and wanted to know if she was interested in
attending. Our Battalion Commander extended to her the offer of attending
the screening but also to address the soldiers afterwards if she was
comfortable doing so. She was. What played out that Sunday morning was the
single most amazing experience I have had in my 10+ year military career.

During the duration of the 98 minute film, soldiers eyes were glued to the
screen. Mobile phones stayed tucked away in pockets. Whispered jokes and
conversations between buddies were nonexistent. Supervisors standing in the
back of the room didn't move around the room but instead stood still as
statues, watching as the various stories were told on the screen.
Occasionally, a soldier could be seen dabbing at the corners of their eyes,
wiping away silent tears. At several points throughout the film, audible
expressions of shock, anger and disbelief were heard. When the film ended,
there was silence. When the lights came on, most of the soldiers just sat.
Several stood and stretched and conversation began again. The general
feeling in the room (in my opinion) was, "wow that was powerful - but time
to get back to the hum drum of drill weekend." The Battalion Commander
walked to the front, asking people to sit back down. He said "No breaks,
just sit back down, we aren't done yet." He made a few statements about how
powerful the film was - and then introduced the guest speaker that only a
few people knew was there. Kori Cioca - the former Coast Guard member whose
story was one of those told in the film. Heads whipped around almost not
believing that she was actually here, at our unit, to speak to us. And then
the first of many amazing things from that morning happened - as this tiny
woman made her way up the center aisle of the auditorium, soldiers began
clapping and then stood. As she realized that all these soldiers were
standing for her, tears rolled down her cheeks. I can't imagine how it made
her feel to have a room full of combat tested soldiers, most of whom towered
over her, give her a resounding and heartfelt standing ovation.

For the next hour and a half, the soldiers of 1-174th Air Defense Artillery
Battalion openly and honestly discussed the topic of sexual assault and
harassment in our military. The questions that Kori was asked were varied -
what does she think about the Army's Sexual Assault Prevention Response
program and Unit Victim Advocates, has the lawsuit that she's a part of made
any headway, what happened to her perpetrator, how did she get involved in
the documentary, how is her medical care progressing, etc. In addition to
questions, a lot of soldiers raised their hands just to be able to thank
Kori and tell her what an inspiration she is, how strong she is and how her
story resonated with them on a personal level. Kori answered every single
question and thanked every person with the most sincere honesty and openness
that I've ever witnessed. And she didn't sugar coat anything. She elaborated
on some of the details of her story that were not in the documentary,
details that were extremely personal; she discussed her current medical
situation; she openly talked about her struggles, both physical and
emotional. She opened up, to a room full of strangers, about the most
violent invasion of her physical body and how it has effected and changed
her. She cried, and several soldiers cried with her. She laughed, and
everyone laughed with her. But she was real. At one point in the discussion,
Kori relayed a story of regret that she had, that she felt as though she
were responsible for someone else being assaulted. And as she was expressing
her regret and choking up as she was talking, a soldier spoke up and just
said "You can't blame yourself. It's not your fault. It's his fault. He's
the one that attacked her. Don't blame yourself." I was stunned, honestly,
and it gave me chills to hear this burly man speak up in support of a woman
he has never met and offer his support. And I realized that every single
soldier in that room suddenly had a real face and a real story to put to the
issue of sexual assault and harassment. And it finally became not only real,
but personal. I'm not naive enough to think that there weren't any soldiers
in the room to which this issue is already personal. Whether in the military
or civilian world, more soldiers in that room have been affected by this
issue than anyone will know. But now they know they can talk about it if
they need to. Now they know their brother or sister in arms to the left or
right of them will support them and help them.

After the conversation was over, soldiers lined up to shake Kori's hand or
give her a hug and thank her for being the amazingly strong woman that she
is. I have no doubt that soldiers left that room changed. Soldiers who
walked into the room complaining about having to sit through boring sexual
assault prevention training yet again, walked away with a completely
different outlook. But the training won't stop there. Now that the subject
has been thrown into the open and is not looked at as taboo anymore, we are
talking about it. We are brainstorming ways to ensure that something like
this doesn't happen to our soldiers, and if it does, what we will do to
protect and shelter the victim and ensure the prosecution of the
perpetrator. In all my years attending sexual assault prevention training, I
have never once heard anyone talking about it after it was over. But now we
are. And now we understand that there is work to be done, and in order to
make a difference we have to talk, we have to stand up and speak out against
it and we have to do it together. Because only together are we not
invisible.


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Showing 25 reactions


commented 2013-06-27 03:28:10 -0400
Christine; MORE I AGREE WITH! Unfortunately, your experience is more common than people would like to believe. It’s said so often that people think it’s a cliche, but it’s not; the truth is only the rich get justice; or at least the people with money if they aren’t actually “rich” by today’s standards. Had you been rich none of this would have happened to you this way. What you should have done is hire a lawyer BEFORE you saw the police; or at least called one. The harsh reality is that it’s just not victims of sexual crimes that are treated this way, but it’s COMMON to most victims of any crime; especially the treatment from the prosecutor’s office. If you’d had your own lawyer looking out for you" it would have went differently. In this country today, YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS WHATEVER unless you have enough money to hire an attorney. The legal system was created to be an employment engine for lawyers though all will deny it. It’s easy to prove … first, as I said you have almost no access to any legal protection without hiring one; second, lawyers are the ONLY profession in the world where you must pay them in advance and you get NO REFUND even if they completely screw up your case with major incompetence. I have personal experience with that too! Good luck trying to catch them with malpractice too; all the rules for that are written to protect lawyers. Ordinary citizens MUST have access to the law even if they have little or no money. EVERYONE right now DOES NOT have access to the law to protect them or their families. You or I could be raped again tomorrow and the outcome would be the same if we didn’t have lawyers to help us. THAT IS CRIMINALLY WRONG AND EVERY LAWYER AND JUDGE IN THIS COUNTRY IS GUILTY OF COMPLICITY IN AIDING AND ABETTING CRIME AND GROSS WRONG DOING. That’s what they did to you and that’s what happened to me and many others reading this site. I don’t think major changes will ever be made as the people who have to make them are lawyers who stand to lose their cushy existence if they do. I wish you all the luck possible.
commented 2013-06-20 01:18:40 -0400
So glad to hear you responded and are in agreement.

I have personally experienced the civilian justice system and I can tell you that as a victim of sexual violence. I was immediately questioned repeatedly, questions that were inappropriate and had no bearing on the crime I was reporting. I felt intimidated and when I asked for an advocate they said I could speak with an advocated when they were done questioning me. I later found out they had lied to me and I had to no recourse to hold officials accountable for breaking the law. It was my word against theirs once again.
The perp was questioned one time for about 15 minutes and before he was questioned he was allowed to leave the state for 3 weeks. During those 3 weeks he hired an attorney that prepped him for questioning.
The county prosecutor was given full authority to press charges if he felt he could win the case. I personally spoke with the prosecutor and he point blank told me he would not take a case he could not win and then preceded to tell me he would make his decision and call me in 3 months. I called him, he did not remember who I was and preceded to inform me that he had been promoted and he would no longer be overseeing the case. The new prosecutor chose not to file charges.
It is my opinion that when a victim is brave enough to come forward and report a sexually violent crime the victim should be given access to a victim’s attorney immediately just like the perp.
There are laws in place at the state level only to protect victims. These laws were never communicated to me and even when they were broken I had no recourse and there is no system in place that enforces these laws.
I would be very willing to participate in activism that will give victims of sexual violence stated rites in the Constitution. I truly believe without an amendment sexual violence will continue to be the most under reported crime in America and the this epidemic will become much larger. In our current justice systems victims have no enforceable rights or protections under the law and because of these facts I would not advise any victim of sexual violence to trust these officials to treat them with the care and dignity they deserve. I believe that a no tolerance for sexual violence has to include protection for the victim.
commented 2013-06-19 22:41:31 -0400
I am completely in agreement that a Constitutional Amendment to that effect would do wonders for a great many problems with the legal system. When the founders wrote the constitution many of them were very concerned with the rights of the accused as they all expected to be prosecuted for treason had they lost (and if anyone should doubt it just research what happened in Scotland after the Jacobite Rebellion a short time before). That’s what the legal system (I refuse to call it the justice system as it’s nothing to do with justice) is so focused on – everything is done for and to “protect” the criminal. NO ONE IS PROTECTING US!
commented 2013-06-15 03:23:20 -0400
It is long past the time that we the American people demand an Amendment to the Constitution giving Victims Rights. Victims of sexual assault will not have rights, that will be upheld in any system, until those rights are stated in the Constitution. Re-victimization is commonplace in civilian and military life in cases of sexual violence. Fight for Victim’s Rights. Stop protecting perpetrators, and start protecting victims or at least protect them equally.
commented 2013-06-05 02:56:49 -0400
@mary Tennison – I agree that a continued dialog will help. The thing is this is one that shouldn’t require a dialog. There are laws clearly in place to do everything necessary. The problem is that NO ONE IS FOLLOWING THE LAW! And, worse, the people not following those laws are the very people who are supposed to be enforcing them. There is a fundamental breakdown of our system of justice that this can happen. It’s a bigger problem than what we see on the surface. I don’t know if the proposed new law will fix things in the way we might expect, because that would depend on these same law-breakers now following a new law. That may be expecting the impossible. I can guarantee you that as we type these messages there are a lot of high ranking people in the military hierarchy now trying to figure ways to thwart it. We’ll see …
commented 2013-06-04 09:06:05 -0400
@mr. Jones – GREAT quote!! – "That’s because congress is one of those organizations that tends to reward whoever makes the most fuss; not necessarily who’s right or moral or just. "
Although I think a big part will be just talking about this more. The laws exist – we just need to get them into practice so if society continues to talk about it (much like individual human rights have advanced through the years, and how domestic violence is finally talked about and looked down upon more instead of being held as a private issue)
Societal pressure can bring about changes in behavior if we keep the topic alive.
commented 2013-06-04 00:40:49 -0400
I sure don’t have the answer, but the entity that can reach the most people, I think, are the national news outlets and I don’t see a lot going on in the news about this issue. I think to them it’s old news. So, the problem remains the same for anyone trying to enlist people to a cause. Mass communication. One difficulty is that there have been so many hard-fought causes in the past at cross purposes that they cancel each other out, so it’s a case of which side can make the most noise (pro-choice vs pro-life comes immediately to mind). That’s because congress is one of those organizations that tends to reward whoever makes the most fuss; not necessarily who’s right or moral or just. They also heap rewards on whoever pays the most cold, hard cash to buy a congressman. The organization who put up this web site is one that has, at least, been making some headway, so, I don’t know how that can be enhanced. We’ll see what happens with the proposed bill, although I don’t have a great feeling about it. I don’t have that feeling because the bill lacks merit; I think it’s what should be done at a minimum. I have that feeling because I know that behind the scenes the military is raising one hell of a fuss and they have a couple of centuries of practice at manipulating congress. They generally get what they want, or very close to it. I sure hope I’m wrong – but I also admit I may be trying to not get my hopes up. I’ve been disappointed way too many times by congress.
commented 2013-06-03 03:24:43 -0400
Good input Bruce, thanks :) And I agree so I won’t but I think as well that not only the ones in power need to be alerted, the public needs to know, because they’re the ones being recruited as well so they should know which kind of a system they will be part of or pay for in their taxes. Once their reputation is so bad it’s hard for them to hire, maybe then they’ll do what they have to ? What about a campaign, like the Kony one? This needs to go viral.
commented 2013-06-03 01:13:29 -0400
Chances are if you post things to the Facebook page few people, if any, in power will see it; certainly no one who can actually make a change. You’d only be harassing some public relations sergeant who maintains the page. Get a few thousand people a day to inundate congress person’s emails and that might have much more effect.
commented 2013-06-02 16:10:33 -0400
What about posting the trailer of the invisible war every single day on the marines Facebook page until things change?
commented 2013-05-24 01:46:40 -0400
@mary Tennison – Thank you for this. It was very kind. Being able to talk is a relatively new thing for me. After keeping it bottled up for 30 years it still took me two years of seeing the therapist I finally decided upon before I could start talking to her about it; and have still talked only to her. Since then I’ve also written a few hundred pages about it all to her and worked my way to the point I am now, where I can bring myself to talk about it at all. I don’t know about the experiences of other men, but I’m always made to feel exceedingly uncomfortable in any other setting. I once told myself that was mainly because so much of the material used is clearly intended for women. I tried to start and quickly stopped two support groups because some of the ladies felt uncomfortable with me there. If it’s tough being a victim; it’s doubly hard to also be an icon for other people’s villains. It kind of makes you wish you could crawl inside your own skin to hide. My situation is also a bit more complicated than usual as I have what’s been called “Complex PTSD” because I was also abused as a child; for quite some time. Ironically, joining the military was something I saw as a means to escape that environment. That kind of backfired. I am thankful for a loving and supportive family (the bad people are all dead now) and too many other things to mention. My biggest joy in life is being able to spend time with my grandkids. Again, thank you!
Semper Fi
commented 2013-05-23 08:51:23 -0400
@ Mr. Jones – re: “Also, I’m an elderly, disabled vet and have to watch every single penny I spend. Maybe someday. Oh, yeah, finally, thank you for even noticing me. I really am all alone out here. But I’m used to it now. Sorry to talk so much but I don’t get much opportunity to do so.”
Thank you for allowing us to “notice”
Thank you for your service.
Thank you for sharing of yourself, for “talking” so much – I hope you continue to do so and find more opportunities.
Semper Fidelis
M. Tennison
followed this page 2013-05-23 02:17:40 -0400
commented 2013-05-22 20:09:05 -0400
@ Shelly Kekes – First, I am genuinely and deeply sorry for the brutal attack you suffered yourself. If I could have absorbed it for you, I would have. And, please, do not misinterpret this. Spending over 30 years in the military gave me a rather abrupt style of writing (being an engineer doesn’t help either). But, please, at least read all I wrote before attacking me. Besides, what use is an ad hominem attack anyway? I think the subject is more important than that. If you’d have read all I posted you would have seen that I did state I’ve been getting help: “I’ve been in therapy for years and can at least talk about it now”, so don’t assume when you can read. Many years of therapy; in fact. I went through four therapists before I found one I felt I could trust. And as for the hit that YOU think I should have reported it … really? You do not know what you are saying, right? Perhaps you don’t so I’ll explain. If I had reported it at the time I would have been charged with committing several felonies Dishonorably Discharged and Imprisoned (charged with at least a minimum of sodomy, dereliction of duty and bringing discredit upon the military; everything they could think of). Nice little acronyms like “MST” didn’t exist back then and there was no such thing as PTSD. If you actually had PTSD (as it is understood today) it was just assumed that you were either crazy or a coward. Period. I think it’s fair to point out that at that point in our country’s history very large numbers of males WERE running the other way, fleeing to Canada or other countries that’d take them where they could hide from the draft, and in so doing, neatly avoiding the required military service (there is an interesting aside here. someone who actually was clever helped a young male [name deleted: maybe I shouldn’t post his name as he is still alive and rich and powerful enough to come after me] avoid the draft and be classified the magical “4F” by certifying that he has Kleinfelter’s Syndrome [female as well as male chromosomes to make it simple]. In that way he escaped his required military service by claiming he was genetically female. Had I known that at the time it may have helped me; but, those sorts of things are a big secret reserved for offspring of the rich, powerful and influential). If that wasn’t enough, there was a repeated phenomenon where young males, thinking themselves clever, would show up at induction centers either dressed in drag or with heavy makeup, declaring their homosexuality and, thus, unsuitability for military service. Some even went so far as to actually offer to perform certain illegal sex acts on military personnel present in the induction center (yes, that kind of sex was illegal in most places back then). Next, I didn’t CHOOSE to suffer alone. I suffered alone as the only way to avoid being imprisoned for sodomy and other charges; such as dereliction of duty and bringing discredit upon the military. And, yes, those things were being done to male victims until relatively recently. There are even more shocking things around than the “horrible enough” rapes that happened to us (not to diminish what we suffered. i only offer this as an example of how bad it got in some places, even in the past. this example happened in the 1980’s). I personally know of that one case where a very evil man was finally arrested for running a sex trade on a military base. What he’d do is ingratiate himself to young and unsuspecting females and then when they had financial trouble, loan them money until it was more than they could pay back. Then he’d offer to reduce their debt by sleeping with him. Then he’d secretly video tape that and use it to blackmail them into providing orgies for his friends and working for him as call girls – ON THE BASE!!! He also ran a gambling ring and used that as another way to create females in need. I offer that example just to try and illustrate what can, and does happen. His arrest didn’t happen as the result of anything by the military. It was brought to fruition by the FBI. There are a lot of evil people out there and some find safe refuge in the military. And finally, I have searched and couldn’t find a showing of the film I could access. Being a documentary doesn’t change my opinion of the perception it creates. I only say it to provide feedback that could be useful. I’d buy the film but it feels bad to do it when it will undoubtedly make me feel very bad. Also, I’m an elderly, disabled vet and have to watch every single penny I spend. Maybe someday. Oh, yeah, finally, thank you for even noticing me. I really am all alone out here. But I’m used to it now. Sorry to talk so much but I don’t get much opportunity to do so.
commented 2013-05-22 11:05:36 -0400
@ Mr. Jones. I am sorry you feel the need to hide after all of these years. You mention that none of the training is aimed at men being victims, that’s because men won’t report it. ((Like you!) You don’t want to play the victim, (we don’t “WANT” to, either), how about just being honest with yourself? You WERE a victim….what you are now is up to you. Obviously, this has affected you, and I’m assuming you never recieved any help. You’re ashamed…..don’t you think we are too? So, I guess the rest of “us” should not discuss this so that it can continue to go on? The rest of us should suffer our PTSD quietly? I’m sorry you have suffered so long in the dark, I really am…..but you chose to suffer alone. I have been in therapy since ‘85, but only recently started to deal with my MST issues. Not that I didn’t want to talk about it all those years, I really thought I’d “gotten over it”. Drinking myself numb from time to time helped bury it very deeply. (I’ve been sober 13 years.) When I did start talking about it, I spoke as if I were talking about doing the dishes. No big deal. But, the more I spoke, the more it became clear how deeply this had impacted my life. The relief I felt after getting this out was massive. You should try it. I’m also sorry you missed this program on PBS, because MST against men was talked about. (Perhaps you could contact your local PBS and ask when this will be shown again.) I wish you luck, Mr. Jones, but mostly, I wish you peace. You are not alone, either!
commented 2013-05-22 09:54:25 -0400
@shelly Kekes – The question was not asked – but maybe it should have been. I would have been interested to see the response. I know of 4 soldiers in the Battalion that have been personally affected by MST of some form. I also know of a handful that have been affected by sexual assault or harassment in their civilian lives. And that’s just the ones I know about. I’ve always been stunned at the number of people (both men and women) that have experienced some form of sexual trauma. It’s never talked about. Not in the civilian world, not in the corporate world, not in the political world and not in the military. It happens so much more than people realize and the only way to bring the topic to the surface is to talk about it. I obviously have a passion for MST survivors because I’m in the military. This documentary opened my eyes to the massive injustices facing MST victims within the very establishment that is supposed to uplift and protect them.
I’ve gotten off topic – lol – but the answer to your question is, no, the question of who has been impacted personally by MST was not asked at the event.
commented 2013-05-22 08:48:13 -0400
@ Mr. Jones, I am sorry for your troubles with the site – I am not affiliated with the site in any way, just another user and computer geek by trade – but I believe it is in the user agreement for how your info can be used.
As for seeing the movie, this entire website is set up for this documentary film. Note please that this is a documentary, not a Hollywood hype film at all.
If you click on the tabs across the top you can read more about promoting the movement, sponsoring a showing of the documentary and even more resources that are available.
commented 2013-05-21 23:39:51 -0400
@bruce Jones the film is being shown on PBS this week or month I can never tell how long stuff is shown on PBS but they usually repeat it so check you local station.
commented 2013-05-21 23:04:31 -0400
I guess this is a PS to my comment below – why create additional victimization of the people you are claiming to help? I signed up like a good little soldier and filled out the required information on your eform. One of those info-blocks was to choose a user name. I picked one. I really did. Your website seems to ignore that completely and instead posted my real name with the comment I posted below this. REALLY? I was SPECIFICALLY trying to avoid using my name at all, because, after all this is kind of a sensitive subject to those of us personally affected by it. What do you think a user name is for? It’s so you don’t have to use your real name; for reasons of privacy if nothing else. Privacy. Some of us don’t want to carry that “V” label for the whole world to amuse themselves with. Check it out; PRIVACY, it’s still in the constitution although most people ignore it. With that in mind is there a way to change the post so that my actual name doesn’t appear in glaring print? Is there somewhere that a “personal profile” type of page exists so that I can edit my info? I couldn’t find one. ALSO, you might consider that the Hollywoodesque connection you so conspicuously display is not one that engenders trust in almost all military people. Conversely, many military members of my long acquaintance DO NOT even trust, let alone like, anything connected with Hollywood (eg: the entertainment business). One huge red flag they may see is that one cannot seem to be able to see this film or documentary you so prominently mention, “The Invisible War”, without having to pay for it in some way. This implies that a desire for substantial financial reward is, perhaps, higher on your agenda than actually helping people that have already had a lot taken from them. Or did I miss something? Is there some theater where I can go to see this in private or is the only access through purchasing a DVD? I’m just VERY frustrated. Thank you, etc.
commented 2013-05-21 22:37:23 -0400
I have a very personal interest in this topic so I read the article. I had 35 years in DOD in several capacities; 4 years in uniform, the rest as a civilian. I reached a fairly high position so I’d been everything from the lowest of the low to upper command structure. I worked, at various times, for the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. I’ve been “retired” since 2006. During that time I saw every type of “next new thing” that came along on this topic. I can say, without reservation, that everything described by that captain in their email is exactly the same thing I witnessed and experienced during all that time that such training existed. The sexual problem related training did not exist when I first went in. That was in 1968. But, by the 80’s such training was indeed held annually. The general reception was exactly as described. Back then, it bothered me a great deal to have to sit through the training. That’s because I had been a victim in the past and felt horrible having to sit through it. None of it ever applied to me. None. That’s because I’m a male and was mainly victimized by males. I felt like no one cared about male victims. It was your own fault, tough luck buddy. At least that’s how it made, and still makes me feel. One reason behind my feelings is that no real attention was paid to it until the numbers of female victims increased and every bit of “training” I’ve ever seen concentrated on females as the victims. In a way that further victimized me by holding up males – me – as the evil perpetrators. Sometimes, leaving the training areas I felt like the eyes of every woman there were boring into me like some personification of evil. I never would have been able to even write this years ago. But, I’ve been in therapy for years and can at least talk about it now. The deep seeded feelings; however, never subside. It’s always there below the surface and I still feel like women everywhere look at me as something evil; just because of my gender.
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