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When I started this campaign to get more military folks to see the film, The Invisible War, I didn't expect it to be easy. Not really.

But I thought more of my military wife friends would help. I mean, we've gone through so much together and asking folks to sign a petition is such a small thing. Especially a petition that is non-partisan, non-political, and not asking for a single piece of legislation. It's just asking that a film that has won awards and accolades be shared with those who can make a difference in the quest for Zero Tolerance.

But as each of my friends who are also military wives refuse to sign the petition, I feel that I've somehow failed. How do I get military wives like myself to care?

The lives of military spouses are already stressed out. If it's not the latest deployment, then it's the latest move. Most of us don't want to spend our free time learning about rape in the military. It's too easy to think that someone else will worry about it. Even that our active duty husbands or wives will take care of the problem. I get that. I didn't really want to be the person pushing this issue either. But the men and women fighting this battle need some help from beyond standard military chain-of-command.

And I have news for you. The military has been trying to take care of the problem for years and it continues to make small steps forward and then it all comes tumbling down again. Need I list some of the scandals?

Tailhook

Aberdeen Proving Ground

US Air Force Academy

Camp Pendleton- 64 Sexual Assaults in 2011

Marine Barracks, Washington DC

Lackland AFB w/ investigation moving to other AETC bases.

As soon as I watched The Invisible War, I knew that the DoD was holding back essential information that our commanders need to know. I'm not even sure the DoD has even put all the pieces of the puzzle together. The film can actually make the DoD's job easier. It presents military sexual assault in such a clear and compelling manner that Commanders would leave the theater better prepared to fight for Zero Tolerance.

For my military friends, this film is not a military-hating, military-bashing production. The pride of service felt by the very victims is a crucial part of understanding the current problem WE face. Yes, we military spouses are a part of this system too. I doubt I am the only spouse that knows of active duty members who have been sexually harassed.

When Military Spouses don't sign this petition, it isn't just my feelings that are hurt, it's a down right refusal to give our husbands and wives the information they need to do a better job. If you can't sign the petition to help prevent future rape, if you can't sign the petition as a way of offering support to past victims, then sign the petition to help our commanders do a better job! Heaven forbid that your husband or wife is left with a scandal in their squadron, but if they are, I hope to hell they've seen The Invisible War beforehand.

Originally posted to Military Community Members of Daily Kos on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 07:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Invisible People, DKos Military Veterans, Netroots For The Troops®, Rape and Domestic Violence, and Sluts.

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