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Public Affairs Week- The Invisible War Screening  
General Event Information
Event Category:
OPB 40th Anniversary Event
Dates and Times:
September 17, 9:00PM-11:00PM; (The Public Affairs Conference runs from September 15-19. )
Join us for a screening of The Invisible War on Missouri State University's campus for the annual Public Affairs Conference.

At 6:30pm, the keynote speech entitled RESPONSE ABILITY: The Revolution for Courageous Leadership will begin. Mike Dilbeck is helping individuals from all walks of life understand how seizing upon an opportunity to act can dramatically change their community and allow them to demonstrate courageous leadership — for others, for organizations and for issues. He uses live texting and shares real stories to frame the discussion.

Then at 9pm the screening of The Invisible War will begin. The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem — today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 22,800 violent sex crimes in the military in 2011. Among all active-duty female soldiers, 20 percent are sexually assaulted. Female soldiers aged 18 to 21 accounted for more than half of the victims.

Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, The Invisible War exposes the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling the women’s struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high- ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal 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 interviews with the rape survivors themselves — people 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's estimate, one percent of men in the military — nearly 20,000 men — were sexually assaulted in 2009.

And while rape victims in the civilian world can turn to a police force and judicial system for help and justice, rape victims in the military must turn to their commanders — a move that is all too often met with foot-dragging at best, and reprisals at worst. Many rape victims find themselves forced to choose between speaking up and keeping their careers. Little wonder that only 8 percent of military sexual assault cases are prosecuted.

Since The Invisible War premiered at Sundance, the film has been circulating through the highest levels of the Pentagon and the Obama administration. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta watched The Invisible War on April 14, 2012. Two days later, he directed military commanders to hand over all sexual assault investigations to a higher-ranking colonel. At the same time, Panetta announced that each branch of the armed forces would establish a Special Victims Unit.

The Public Affairs Conference takes place each spring and features panel discussions, plenary addresses, and special events related to the year's theme, The Ethical Citizen. All events are free and open to the public and held on the campus of Missouri State University.
Venue Information
Missouri State University- PSU Theatre  
901 S. National Ave  
Zip Code:
United States 
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