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Sundance Trailer Watch: The Invisible War

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by Melissa Silverstein
December 6, 2011 8:01 AM
10 Comments
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Here is your holy crap moment of the day.  This makes by blood boil and makes me cry at the same time.  I cannot wait to see this film.

Over 16,000 women were assaulted in 2009. The facts and figures in the 2 minute trailer are devastating.

The Invisible War: A Film About the Epidemic of Military Sexual Assault and Rape

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More: Documentary, Sundance Film Festival

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

10 Comments

  • Watch The Invisible War Online Free | June 23, 2012 7:40 AMReply

    Watch The Invisible War Online Free In HD Quality....
    Just Copy And Paste The Given Link..


    http://www.moviesmount.com/the-invisible-war-movie

  • Diane | January 26, 2012 7:15 PMReply

    I was stationed in Germany, and had four of my military brothers attack me. One even put his hands inside my pants, another one pushed me up against the bar, and fondled my breast, another slapped me on he butt, when I walked up the stairs, another one pushed me up against a fire truck, and humped me from behind. I reported it to my first sergeant, and I was punished. I tried to cross train into medical, but the Inspector General told me, the only way out was a honorable discharge, to this day, they all walked away free. I have been denied a female couselor at the Rome Community VA outpatient clinic. I am a great critical care nurse, and paramedic, but still have challenges in a hostile work enviroment. We need better, and more women counselors to help us. I am doing much better, and more focused, they will never win. We need to remind them we are not their little play toys anymore!

  • SAD! | December 28, 2011 11:06 AMReply

    It mad me angry and cry also....They are criminals whether they are soldiers or not!

  • TJT720 | December 8, 2011 9:07 PMReply

    All of us have a voice that has been muffled by pain, shame and fear...I say for every "one" of us who says ENOUGH...we speak for thousands who have yet to find their voice! I stand proudly by your side and encourage you to forgive yourself, remember you are not alone...I'm right here beside you!! USN Veteran ready to help you in anyway possible take one step towards life!
    T

  • AE4F-18 | December 7, 2011 8:43 AMReply

    WOW, I knew there was a lt of us but the visual graph of numbers of us is heartbreaking over 500,000? Just makes me want to puke! I'm glad there is a growing Civilian awareness of it. Take care my fellow sisters and seek the help you need.

  • VetSis | December 7, 2011 1:01 AMReply

    Never give up... If you filed for PTSD and did not recieve what you dixerve... Appeal, Appeal, and keep Appealing... Have friends, neighbors, relatives, family write letters about who you were before and the difference after the sexual assault/trauma..... Most of all have your therapist summit letter of your diagnosis.... Congressional Letter from your congressperson to the VA Regional Office .. Have all RE: with your full name and Service number.. Keep copies of all.. Never give them your original medical nor DD214...... Anything in support such as, how you changed right after.... drinking, in trouble with law, military, anything.....Medical problems... There are so many military sites for women to help you with all of this... Join a support group... so you do not feel alone... VetSis

  • Noticed | December 6, 2011 5:48 PMReply

    Thank you both for sharing your personal experiences. I hope that we can start talking about this epidemic. It seems to me the ultimate betrayal that our women are more likely to be raped by a fellow service member than to be killed by enemy fire. For shame.

  • meghan | December 6, 2011 1:49 PMReply

    I was raped in 1999 at a friend's party by an acquaintance (who was also military visiting from another base). I was 19 and drunk and not even my friends knew what had happened. It was the second person I had ever had sex with. When I called the med group to get an appointment to get a check up to make sure I hadn't caught anything, I began to sob. The woman on the line asked if I had been assaulted and I told her I had. She assured me it would be annotated in my records so the doctor would know to proceed cautiously. When I went in for my appointment the first thing that made my heart stop was that the doctor was a man. The second thing was that he was not in the greatest of moods and was not at all gentle. I began to cry, to afraid to say anything. I don't know if the note was never annotated on my records, if he didn't see it, or if he was just a colossal asshole, but he said to me "If you didn't want to deal with the consequences, you should have kept your legs shut in the first place." I never told anyone about what happened again. My boyfriend broke up with me and called me a slut, my friends that were at the party made constant reference to my "hookup" and the guy bragged to everyone about how I let him "do whatever he wanted". That was 12 years ago and I have not had a real relationship since. I have never had sex sober, and over the last 10 years I have probably had sex twice. I was recently medically retired from the Air Force due to PTSD and other medical issues from Iraq (I was a combat videographer) and was given my medical records when I retired. The first thing I did was look up that day of my exam. The doctor had gone in after the appointment and noted that he counseled me on sexual assault and offered counseling services. (Completely untrue). I never reported it because I was underage and drinking and who would believe me?
    This documentary means a lot to me. To get the information out there that it's happening and it's NOT ok is so important. The military has briefings, but no one pays attention, they are boring computer based training that you click through to get a certificate. Hopefully the women in this documentary will make this REAL. My hope really is that once this comes out you can work with the military to make viewing this documentary a mandatory part of training. Thank you for the work you've done, I can't wait to see the finished product.

  • Susan Busch | December 6, 2011 1:36 PMReply

    I have been trying to get disability for the past two years for ptsd caused by military sexual trauma. Over ten years ago my boyfriend at the time attacked me and all of a sudden I was thrown back in to 1973. Thrown back into the night of hell. I am a straight woman who was drugged and gang raped by fellow female service women with strap on dildos. They denied my claim and stated that could not have happened as there were no medical records. How about you guys and gals. You going to report the rape when it is same sex and they out ranked you? Only 15% report the rape or go to the doctor in the miliary or in civilian life. Had it been a man - damn straight I would have turned his ass in. A penis doesn't cause the medical problems caused by large dildos. It has been over 30 years and I still have female problems because of the rape. The trailer for the Invisible War is correct. While in the service I did some work in the Judge Advocate General's office. Heartbreaking cases; however, none were of rape. Rape is the invisible war. As a service person we should be able to know each of us has another's back. Not the person on top having your face pushed in the ground while they have fun with their backside - so to speak.
    Rapists need to pay whether they are in the military or in civilian life. No excuses. The military is trying very hard not to accept my disability because I served during Viet Nam. The took one look at my age - and that was that. I am still fighting the invisible war. Good luck and God bless all of you who are fighting the war - and to those of you who are still in the military and have been raped - get it in writing somewhere. Go to a doctor off base. Get a letter and copy of the patient records. You may think that you will be alright mentally; however, it hit me and hit me hard twenty five years later. Still I did not even start counseling or go to the VA til 2009. I have only been going the past two years. The Veterans Administration only accepts or denies your claim - especially the older ones. Get as much shit in paperwork with signatures and just keep it in a drawer and hope you never need to use it. The panic attacks started in college after getting out of the service - there wasn't even the words panic and attack used together back in 1973. You are going to need statements from people who knew you before and after the attack and how you had changed. Most my superiors and people who I told are now deceased and it has really made it hard. Good luck to all of you and see that film - The Invisible War.
    Post traumatic stress disorder starts right away after returning home - you may think you are strong and don't need help. Wacth out - I felt strong - if did not stop me from putting a rifle in my mouth. Had my legs been longer or had the thought process to remove my shoes I would not be alive today. Since I am still suicidal - my main goal is to fight. I will not let what happened to me in 1973 kill me today. To all service members: See a shrink after you get out just so you have your military experiences on records. See civilian doctors and get the letters. Too many of us are getting out of the military with only our bodies coming home - out minds wander back to a time we nevered wanted to spend. I lost over 20 people to suicide after coming home from Nam.

  • SUSAN AVILA-SMITH | January 20, 2012 4:16 AM

    TO WIN A VA CLAIM FOR MST/PERSONAL ASSAULT


    You will need:



    1. A diagnosis of PTSD, Anxiety and/or Depression, from your Provider. (Filing for "MST" will not work.)



    2. A Nexus which needs to be written by your provider as a letter or in your medical chart just like this (print this out and bring it to them):



    "After reviewing ___________'s medical records it is my opinion, more likely than not, her/his PTSD, Depression/Anxiety (PTSD, Anxiety/Depression - what ever it specifically is you filed for in your claim and must match exactly) is a direct result of military sexual trauma s/he experienced while serving on active duty."



    3. VA form #21=0781a. - This is used as "Alternative Evidence" and you need to explain *EACH ONE* of the "markers" they have on page 3.



    If you did not have one of these markers, then state it specifically: "I did not use over the counter medications, because I had prescription medications for anxiety." or "I did not take a pregnancy test, because I am male."



    If you did have one of these markers, then state specifically: "I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years after the assault."



    Form VA-21-0781a - you may want to ask for help with this.

    Just fill in Description of the Incident as "sexual assault" or "personal assault" by a known person - STATE THEIR NAME, THEIR UNIT INFORMATION and if they were punished and how.

    So, it would look something like this: "On or about (VERY important here - if it was July 11th, you could lose) July 12, 1986 I was assaulted by John Doe, a corporal who was assigned to HOC 733rd MI Bn, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii - the same unit I was assigned to." Nothing follows.

    ***IF you cannot remember the date, narrow it down to a three month time frame - a season, holiday, or event like the Presidential Elections. (This is used to check the paperwork and nothing else. If the paperwork is not there, then likely you will not win, so the date range is crucial.)

    So the main thing is that You DO NOT need to find your Military paperwork the medical records and personnel files are automatic - ANYTHING ELSE (JAG, MP, DAILY ROSTER, ETC.) YOU WILL NEED TO REQUEST VA GET SEPARATELY (the DoD most likely will not give it to you, if you request it yourself for privacy reasons), it is the VA's job to get any paperwork, and they can get it much more quickly.

    You will need to sign a Release of Information for the VA to get anything else.

    Leave page two with a line through it, and N/A (Not Applicable).

    ****Seriously - do not put another incident unless you are willing to wait for a very long time (the wait is already more than a year, unless you are homeless (aka Do not have a Rental Agreement, Mortgage or Lease - according to the VA rules, if you are couch surfing - you ARE HOMELESS). If you are Homeless, or have serious financial difficulty you must tell them. Every sentence with every person at the VA should be "I am a homeless veteran, and....." Expedited claims can be 3 months. (To choose which incident if there is more than one, pick the one that has any military record, no matter how small.)


    Page Three - The main thing is to address each of the items in #7 on the form (Page 3). If you had/did something say it, and if not, say you did not do this behavior. If you did not have one of these markers, then state it specifically: "I did not use over the counter medications, because I had prescription medications for anxiety." If you did have one of these markers, then state specifically: "I broke up with my boyfriend of 7 years after the assault." You need to explain EACH ONE of the "markers" they have on page 3.C



    Here is the list of Markers:

    • visits to a medical or counseling clinic or dispensary without a specific diagnosis or specific ailment

    • sudden requests for a change in occupational series or duty assignment

    • increased use of leave without an apparent reason

    • changes in performance and performance evaluations

    • episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause

    • increased or decreased use of prescription medications

    • increased use of over-the-counter medications

    • substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs

    • increased disregard for military or civilian authority

    • obsessive behavior such as overeating or undereating

    • pregnancy tests around the time of the incident

    • tests for HIV or sexually transmitted diseases

    • unexplained economic or social behavior changes

    • breakup of a primary relationship


    AND



    4. A copy of anything showing you had problems in the military, such as being AWOL, ARTICLE 15 or a letter from someone who knew you at the time or before and after you served in the military and can attest to the major behavior changes you have shown. Everything should state "I swear this is accurate and true to the best of my ability."



    5. A GAF score (Global Assessment of Functioning) can be assigned by your provider at each appointment. (Typically for PTSD the numbers would range around 35-45.)



    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Veterans Online Application System (VONAPP) Source: vabenefits dot vba dot va dot gov

    VA will use this form as Evidence. The 21-0781a can be filed on line, and use the PDF - ONLY FILE FOR ONE INCIDENT. http://www dot vba dot va dot gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0781a-ARE.pdf . This is used as "Alternative Evidence" which is only allowed for MST claims. VA will use this form in place of "hard" Evidence.


    ____________________________________________________________________________________



    You MUST have all of the above to win a claim IF you do not have a police report, hospital report, or other documentation - so any statement about court martial or punishment will be added insurance for your win.

    So, again, you need the Diagnosis, Nexus and Evidence to win your VA claim. Try to keep it simple.


    Susan Avila-Smith
    Advocating for Active Duty
    and Veterans with Military
    Sexual Trauma

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