Documentary reveals prevalence of military sexual assaults - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Documentary reveals prevalence of military sexual assaults

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Friday people in Iowa City were given a look inside the military unlike any before.

The 90 minute documentary titled 'The Invisible War' came to the Englert Theater downtown, working to raise awareness about the frequency of sexual assaults in the military.

The film reveals the cover up of these crimes and the damage done to those who were attacked.

"We're talking about a huge problem, and many people don't realize how extremely large it is," said Barb Duder, with American Legion Post 29 out of Washington.  Duder was also a part of the effort to show the documentary in Iowa City.

The numbers are staggering.

According to Department of Defense estimates, more than 22 thousand have been sexually assaulted, raped, or harassed in the United States military in the last year.  The majority of the victims being women.

Two of those victims come from here in the Corridor.  They have started their own blog to help those people suffering called Enemy in the Wire.

Duder knows the two personally.

"They're out to see change," Duder said. 

The US Army has taken steps to address the problem, especially in the last few years, creating mandatory training to help recognize and report these crimes.

Back in Iowa, the University of Iowa Veterans Center recognizes the problem and provides connections to get the victims the help needed.

"It has become a malignancy of the military, they're really just starting to crack down on the perpetrators of these crimes," said  John Mikelson coordinator of the UI Veterans Center.

Awareness of the problem is improving, but it is evident to many there's still a long way to go.

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