|By Marketwire .||
|September 27, 2012 06:54 PM EDT||
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/27/12 -- Statement by THE INVISIBLE WAR director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering:
"We applaud Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta for his efforts to end the epidemic of sexual assaults within our Armed Forces as detailed in his interview with Natalie Morales on ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS on September 27th. After seeing The Invisible War in April of this year, Secretary Panetta announced a change to the existing policy in which unit commanders decided if rape charges would be investigated and prosecuted. The change moved that decision higher up the chain of command. But much more needs to be done.
Ever since The Invisible War won the Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival and throughout its theatrical release over the summer, its successful 'Million Eyes On The Issue' Facebook screening that generated non-stop chatter and engagement from Military Sexual Trauma survivors, and continuing with its DVD release next month, our goal has been to bring attention to this appalling problem in the military and to reveal the damage it causes to our service members and society at large.
Our troops are in immediate peril and there needs to be decisive action to protect their well-being. As the film conclusively shows, the vast majority of sexual assaults in the military are committed by a small minority of service members who are serial perpetrators who carefully select, stalk, and assault their victims again and again. The DoD needs to initiate a proactive strategy to go after these 'enemies within.'
We encourage Secretary Panetta and the DoD to take the following additional actions:
1. Move the decision to investigate and prosecute a sexual assault claim outside the victim's chain of command.
2. Create a sexual assault database within the Department of Defense that is required to share information with the Department of Justice civilian sexual offender database.
3. End the practice of diagnosing victims of sexual assault with personality disorders and then discharging them from the military without being eligible for benefits.
4. And finally, as The Invisible War conclusively shows, the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by a small minority of service members who are serial perpetrators. The DoD must aggressively investigate, prosecute and incarcerate these 'enemies within' who are debilitating our fighting force."
Statement of Chris McGurk, Chairman and CEO of Cinedigm, distributor of The Invisible War:
"This powerful, evocative and haunting movie by Kirby and Amy has already succeeded in getting the attention of top policymakers and now filmgoers across the country have engaged in the debate following its theatrical release, which began this past June. We look forward to bringing it out on DVD in October so that every American can become informed about this terribly important and deeply troubling issue... and demand change from those in power."
About The Invisible War:
THE INVISIBLE WAR (www.invisiblewarmovie.com) paints a startling picture: 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 19,300 service members sexually assaulted in 2010 alone.
Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, the film is a moving indictment of 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.
The documentary is the recipient of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Documentary, the 2012 Human Rights Watch Festival's Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking, the HBO Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature from the 2012 Provincetown Film Festival, the Silver Heart Award from the Dallas International Film Festival, and was an official entry at Full Frame Film Festival and HotDocs. The Invisible War is available now on iTunes (www.iTunes.com) and debuts on cable VOD and DVD on October 23.
About Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), the worldwide leader of digital cinema installation, is a state of the art digital distributor of award-winning independent films and alternative content www.cinedigm.com CIDM-G
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