Saturday, January 11, 2014


On Thursday, January 16 at 6:00 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City, in partnership with the American Association of University Women, will host a screening and discussion of the film, The Invisible War. A 5:30 p.m. reception will precede the lecture.

The Invisible War is an Academy Award© nominated documentary that recounts the experiences of veterans who have been sexually assaulted while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The film features interviews with the veterans who tell their stories surrounding their assaults. Their stories show many common themes, such as the lack of recourse to an impartial justice system, reprisals against survivors instead of against perpetrators, the absence of adequate emotional and physical care for survivors, the unhindered advancement of perpetrators' careers, and the forced expulsion of survivors from service.

Interspersed with first person testimonies are interviews with advocates, journalists, mental health professionals, active duty and retired generals, Department of Defense officials, and members of the military justice system. The film also includes footage, often shot by the veterans themselves, which documents their lives and continuing struggles in the aftermath of their assaults. The survivors and advocates featured in the film call for changes to the way the military handles sexual assault, such as shifting prosecution away from unit commanders.

The film was written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering and Tanner King Barklow. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the U.S. Documentary Audience Award. In addition the film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 Academy Awards©.

To make a reservation for this free program call 816-268-8010 or email Following the screening a panel of speakers will answer questions related to the film topic. Speakers include Ann Beem, sexual assault response coordinator at Whiteman Air Force Base; Keith Bradley, prevention services coordinator from the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA); Lt. Col. Todd Pennington, staff judge advocate at Whiteman Air Force Base; Sandra Reddish, a former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant who handled sexual assault cases in the Marine Corps legal department; and panel moderator Nicky Stanke, Kansas City AAUW chapter president.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 15 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by Federal agencies in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or go here.

The American Association of University Women is a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. The organization has a nationwide network of 150,000 members, 1,500 branches, and 500 college and university partners. Its headquarters are in Washington, DC.

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