A Culture of Coverup: Rape in the Ranks of the US Military
A new documentary by director Kirby Dick, The Invisible War, about systemic rape of women in the military and the retaliations and coverups victims face, has won awards in many film festivals, and recently even triggered congressional response. The examples of what happens to women soldiers who are raped in the military are stunning, both in the violence that these often young women face, and in the viciousness they encounter after attacks.
In December 2005, for instance, Kori Cioca was serving in the US Coast Guard, and was raped by a commanding officer. In the assault, her jaw was broken. When she sought to move forward with her case, her own commanding officer told her that if she pursued the issue, she would face court martial for lying; her assailant, who admitted to the assault while denying that rape was part of it, was “punished” by being restricted to the base for 30 days and docked some pay.
Cioca now has PTSD, along with nerve damage to her face. She is fighting the Veterans Administration (VA) to receive approval for surgery she urgently needs; she has also become a plaintiff in a class action civil suit against the Department of Defense.