Filmmakers behind the award-winning documentary THE INVISIBLE WAR have establishmented The Artemis Invisible War Recovery Program, a pilot program to treat survivors of military sexual trauma (MST). Director Kirby Dick, producer Amy Ziering and executive producers Regina Kulik Scully and Geralyn Dreyfous, appearing in Los Angeles for the DVD release of the film, announced that more than $500,000 has been raised to fund the initial program with hopes of expanding it into a permanent resource for MST survivors.
THE INVISIBLE WAR, which won the Sundance Documentary Audience Award, details the epidemic rate of sexual assault among the ranks of the military. The Department of Defense estimates a staggering 19,300 service members were sexually assaulted in 2010 alone. A female soldier in combat is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
“Over the past two years, hundreds of female and male soldiers have come forward to recount their harrowing stories often for the first time,” said filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. “We were astonished by the similarities in these stories that reveal an attitude in the military that is all to often indifferent to rape at best, and tolerant at worst. We hope that the legacy of this film and The Artemis Invisible War Recovery Program will help victims heal from the profound trauma they have suffered.”
“THE INVISIBLE WAR has inspired this breakthrough pilot recovery program to address the real needs of veterans to cope and heal from sexual trauma. It is poised to serve as a crucial template for recovery programs throughout the country and around the world,” said executive producer Regina Kulik Scully who is also the program sponsor and Founder and CEO of The Artemis Media Fund.
As chronicled in the film, survivors of MST often find themselves without the reporting and treatment options available to civilians. In fact, some evidence suggests that survivors who have been treated in military medical settings experience a “second victimization” while under care, often reporting increased rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Therapists from the Serenity Trauma Healing Center in Los Angeles, CA and The Bridge to Recovery in Santa Barbara are co-developing the treatment program, which is slated to launch in early 2013.
“As founders of Serenity Trauma Healing Center, we are so excited about this opportunity to bring state of the art treatments to survivors of MST,” said Joanne Mednick and Karol Darsa. “We aim to provide care that can help them overcome their debilitating symptoms and once again lead productive and healthy lives. We are grateful to the filmmakers of THE INVISIBLE WAR for raising consciousness about this issue and to founding sponsor Regina Kulik Scully for providing the vision, insight and passion to initiate this necessary and life-changing program.”
“The Bridge to Recovery is pleased and excited to partner with The Artemis Invisible War Recovery Program and the Serenity Trauma Healing Center to develop a specialized treatment system for military victims of MST,” says John C. Stenzel, CEO and Rawland Glass, LCSW, Chief Clinical Officer, of The Bridge Santa Barbara and The Bridge Bowling Green, respectively.
To learn more about Serenity and The Bridge, visit www.thebridgetorecovery.com and www.serenitytraumacenter.com/site.