Art & Media

“The four major wars in which American women served after World War II can be split into two pairs. Korea and Vietnam were conflicts fought in Asian countries divided by the politics of the Cold War. The Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought in the Middle East and grew out of tensions over aggression in that region and, in the latter instance, the 9/11 attacks. For women, the first two wars signaled few advances in their roles in military service, but in the two recent wars, the areas of women’s participation expanded immensely, with potentially more dire consequences.”

The stories of all women veterans need to be collected and preserved for future generations. And this is especially true for the stories of women who experienced sexual assault while serving their country.

Veterans can submit their own stories using the materials available from the Veterans History Project. To learn how you can participate in The Veterans History Project, click here.


click the boots to view

In this episode of In Their Boots, Angie Peacock, an Iraq veteran, drives halfway across the country to confront her PTSD — a painful combination of military sexual trauma and combat stress.

In Their Boots is a documentary series about the impact the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on people here at home. The series is funded by a generous grant from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF) of The California Community Foundation and is produced by Brave New Foundation.”


Military Rapes Focus of Florida Produced Documentary


Mary Shedden
Tampa Bay Online
April 24, 2012


Deep scars left by the military’s historic handling of rape in its ranks won’t heal anytime soon, say viewers of a new, locally produced documentary.

Monday’s screening of “Uniform Betrayal: Rape in The Military” comes just a week after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced new policies and training to address incidents of rape among active-duty personnel, estimated at 19,000 a year.

The film, however, points to a pervasive culture in the military that won’t change with a few policies. It profiles victims who have failed during the past 20-plus years to be heard or helped by the military justice system.

Two rape victims in the documentary said perpetrators included co-workers and supervisors who took advantage of the military’s hierarchy. Those who agreed to speak on camera struggled to share, and several never reported the rapes while they were serving, said Jennifer Molina, a veteran documentary maker.

“There’s no resolution. There’s no peace for these people,” said Molina, the film’s executive producer.

To read the full article on, click here.


To visit the web site for the documentary, “Uniform Betrayal: Rape in The Military,” click here.

The Invisible War


Free Film Screening!!


Date: April 17th, 2012

Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: California State University San Marcos
Academic Hall 102


About the film:

THE INVISIBLE WAR is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands.

Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of several young women, the film reveals the systemic cover up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. THE INVISIBLE WAR features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change.”

A Panel discussion about Military Sexual Trauma will follow the film. Please join us for a free film and interesting discussion. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information or if you have any questions regarding the event please email us at

This event is co-sponsored by the following California State University San Marcos groups: The Veteran’s Center, ASI Women’s Center, Women’s Studies Department, and Women’s Studies Student Association.


The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military Democracy Now!   January 30, 2012

The Invisible War — film web site

“Ask Her When She’s Sober”


Marty Kaplan
Huffington Post
March 26, 2012


Until Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach and her unborn child were murdered by Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean and buried in his backyard, her congressman, Mike Turner, had a record like any other garden variety Republican warrior on women. With his 100 percent perfect opposition to women’s freedom of choice over their reproductive systems, Turner’s Dayton, Ohio-area constituents had been represented by just the kind of disciplined hard-core conservative that John Boehner and Eric Cantor rely on.

But Turner’s efforts to get Lauterbach’s murderer extradited from Mexico, where the dual national had fled, eventually brought him to do something that Boehner and Cantor despise. Before she was killed, Lauterbach had filed a claim at Camp Lejeune alleging that Lauren had raped her. That’s how Turner’s involvement with her murder — spurred by a request from her family — also became an education in the sexual violence plaguing the military, leading him to join with Massachusetts’s Democratic Rep. Nikki Tsongas to introduce legislation expanding rights and protections for service members who have been the victims of sexual assault.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post, here.

In Harm’s Way

Non-Combat Deaths of Ohio Soldiers Raise Questions About U.S. Military’s Treatment of Female Members

Illustration: Julie Hill


John Lasker
Cincinnati CityBeat
March 27, 2012


“Is this how we treat our female soldiers?” Painfully, this is a question Dayton-area resident Mary Lauterbach has been asking since her daughter, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, was brutally murdered in December 2007 by a fellow Marine she had accused of raping her.

Maria’s story became well known in the Southwestern Ohio area after the Inspector General, in a report released last October, blasted the military for mishandling Maria’s rape case. Besides the Lauterbachs, however, there are several other Ohio families whose military daughters died from “non-combat” circumstances and, like what happened to Maria, their tragedy was amplified when the military tried to tarnish the victim’s reputation and even blame the victim for her own death.

“It’s like a broken record, the same thing keeps happening over and over again,” says Mary Lauterbach about the growing number of female soldiers who suffer what the military calls a “non-combat” related death, which is usually followed by a “completely mishandled investigation,” she adds.

Lauterbach remembers how she told her daughter, “You owe it to your sister Marines to report what happened [the rape].” Now she is dedicated to keeping Maria’s legacy alive, and also the legacies of other female soldiers from Ohio, such as U.S. Marine Stacy Dryden of Canton and U.S. Marine Carrie Leigh Goodwin of Alliance.

To read the full story on the CityBeat site, click here.

Col. Ann Wright (ret) at the March 6, 2012 press conference for the Military Sexual Assault lawsuit at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. Photo: Powers MediaWorks LLC

Col. Wright was interviewed about the ongoing issue of Military Sexual Assault and the recent lawsuit by Pat Thurston of radio station, KGO in San Francisco, California. You can listen to the interview by clicking on the radio below:

 (opens in a new window)

To learn more about the lawsuit filed on behalf of eight current and former members of the Navy and the Marine Corps, click here.

“Sexual abuse is too often shamed, kept in the dark, and silenced. It’s time to end that.

In October of 2011, I created a photography project called Project Unbreakable. I began asking survivors of sexual assault to write a quote from their attacker on a poster. At first, it was just to show the world how incredibly common this issue is. But then I soon realized that it was a form of therapy for these survivors; they were finally able to let go of things that had held them down for weeks, months, years.”                     

– Grace Brown


To learn more about project.UNBREAKABLE, click here.

Project Unbreakable  boingboing, January 30, 2012



DOD says Zero Tolerance for Sexual Assault, but Keeps Limbaugh on Radio


Ann Wright
March 11, 2012

On March 6, eight women in the military filed a lawsuit against Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta, Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld (and others) for their failure to provide a safe environment for women to serve in the US military without fear of being sexually assaulted or raped.

In their press conference announcing the lawsuit, two US Marine officers told of the lack of concern about the criminal conduct of fellow Marines by the leadership of the premier Marine base, the Marine Barracks in Washington, DC. The Marine Barracks provides the Marines who guard the President and the First Family at the White House and Camp David.

This is the second lawsuit filed in just over a year against the Department of Defense concerning sexual assault and rape in the military. The first lawsuit, filed February 15, 2011 and amended in September, 2011, was on behalf of 18 women and three men who had been raped by military personnel. That lawsuit was dismissed in federal court on December 9, 2011, for “failure to state a claim” as military personnel cannot sue the Department of Defense officials for “creating and fostering an atmosphere and environment” that led to the injuries suffered while serving, nor for “failure to punish those individuals guilty of committing these offenses.”

One in three women in the military is raped while in the military. Of the military personnel who reported being raped in 2010, 10% were men.

To read the full article at, click here.

Future of Feminism: Ending Rape As A Tool of War


Aviva Dove-Viebahn
Ms. Blog
March 2, 2012

Sexual assault and rape during wartime cannot–and should not–be brushed off as mere collateral damage. Rather, rape has long been a systematic tool of strategic violence against women. The public and policy makers should know this in order to help prevent future violence–and that’s the mission of the newly launched Women Under Siege , a Women’s Media Center project.

To continue reading at the Ms. Blog, click here.


Check out Women Under Siege from the links below.

From their web site:

Women Under Siege documents how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. Spearheaded by Gloria Steinem, this initiative builds on the lessons revealed in the anthology Sexual Violence Against Jewish Women During the Holocaust by Sonja Hedgepeth and Rochelle Saidel, and also in At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance—a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Daniella McGuire.

In the belief that understanding what happened then might have helped us to prevent or helped us to prepare for the mass sexual assaults of other conflicts, from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Women’s Media Center project is exploring this linkage to heighten public consciousness of causes and preventions.

The project has two main components:

1)  A public education plan to demonstrate that rape is a tool of war (not only a crime of war, but also a strategic tool). This plan includes testimony from and partnership with survivors of modern wars from Bosnia to Darfur.

2)  An action plan to push for the creation of legal, diplomatic, and public interventions to ensure the United Nations, international tribunals, and other agencies with power will understand the gender-based threats as a tool of genocide and will design protocols to intervene and halt gender-based genocide.

To view the Women Under Siege web site, click here.

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