Katie Couric: Abuse in the Military
Next Katie talked with Jessica and her husband Scott who still serves in the Air Force to this day.
Jessica said she comes from a military family and her entire family was excited when she told she wanted to join the Air Force. After being in the Air Force for some time, she said she was walked back to her room by a friend and after he left her alone, another man, the man she shared a bathroom with, came into her room via the adjoining room doors and assaulted her.
The Katie Couric Show: Military Air Force Assault Complaints
After she was attacked, Jessica said no one listened to her. She was shunned by her squadron, her attacker was given an award during the investigation into the assault and after the investigation was completed, Jessica said the main consensus was that she needed to suck it up. She was even put in a room with her attacker, alone, face-to-face, yet Jessica said there is nothing she can do stop him. He has assaulted other women in the past but he has never been charged with anything.
“Since he has nothing but awards, he knows he can get away with it,” said Jessica.
When her husband Scott heard about the incident, he said he was shocked. He said it opened his eyes to something he never knew was happening. He also told Katie Couric if he obtains the next rank in the Air Force he could be sharing a desk with the man who attacked his wife.
Katie Couric: Artemis Rising Invisible Wat Recovery Project
Amy Ziering, producer of the documentary The Invisible War, said she and the director wanted to make the documentary after they read an article on Salon.com about women being abused in the military. They knew it was something no one was talking about and they wanted to give it a voice.
Susan Burke, an attorney handling many of the cases for the women in the documentary, said she wanted to help when she found out this type of abuse was happening. She put out a call for women who had been victims and she said she was inundated with emails in a few days. She said many of the women don’t know what to do because it is different being assaulted in the military and being attacked in the real world.
As one of the women in the film put it, “you can either go AWOL, commit suicide or suck it up.”
Katie: Invisible War Artemis Rising Recovery Project
But now they have somewhere to go, the Artemis Rising Invisible War Recovery Project, a house set up from the generous donations of the one of the producers of the film. The recovery center, located in California, helps women who have been abused in the military overcome their emotions and learn to love again. One women said it has helped her reconnect with her children, something she was unable to do after the abuse she suffered in the military.
Lisa Ziering said she is hoping more and more centers like the Artemis Rising center are put up in the near future. She also said she is encouraged by some of the new rules in the military, like having a colonel look over any case involved with abuse or assault and the development of a special victims unit.
Burke on the other hand thinks more needs to be done. She said there is not incarceration for the men who attack these women and it is not right.