UMW Hosted Screening of Assault Awareness Documentary

The University of Mary Washington hosted a screening of the documentary film “The Invisible War” on Thursday, November 15. The screening was sponsored by the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault.

Lieutenant Elle Helmer at the Vietnam War Memorial, US Marine Corps, from THE INVISIBLE WAR, a Cinedigm/Docurama Films release. Photo courtesy of Cinedigm/Docurama Films

“The Invisible War” recounts various stories of sexual assault in the U.S. military. The accounts are told in a series of interviews that highlight the health and legal matters of a number of survivors. The interviews feature victims, members of the U.S. Congress and other military personnel. Academy Award-nominated writer and director of the film, Kirby Dick, focuses on investigating these crimes. The Department of Defense estimates that there were 19,000 sexual crimes in the military in 2010 alone.

Christopher Kilmartin, professor of psychology, introduced the film and gave a brief talk about sexual assault. Kilmartin, an expert on gender roles, prevention of gender-based violence and sexual harassment, has been nominated as the visiting professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy for 2013-14. He recently concluded a three-year consultation with the U.S. Naval Academy on a revision of sexual assault and harassment prevention curriculum. He was a scriptwriter for a U.S. Army training film on the same topic and has also presented at the Army Summits on Sexual Assault.

According to its website, the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault is a non-profit agency that specializes in providing services to ”victims of sexual assault and their family, friends and partners in the form of hospital and court accompaniment, hotline , counseling, and prevention services.”

For more information, please contact the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault at (540) 371-6771. To view the film’s trailer, visit

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News release prepared by: Charlotte Rodina  

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.