The epidemic of sexual assault in the military is one of the most under-reported stories of our generation. A servicewoman or man is assaulted every 21 minutes in the military. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 26,000 service members sexually assaulted in 2012 alone, and roughly 500,000 in the last two decades.
The film, THE INVISIBLE WAR, and the social action campaign #NotInvisible designed and executed by FitzGibbon Media, took aim at one of the largest institutions on the planet and at a systemic problem that had been purposely covered up and ignored for decades.
Working to use an award-winning documentary to spark a conversation, FitzGibbon Media set out to:
- End the epidemic of sexual assault within the U.S. military;
- Help survivors of Military Sexual Assault heal;
- Use the theatrical release of the film The Invisible War as a catalyst in creating lasting political and cultural change.
By engaging with advocacy organizations, key policymakers, military leaders, online influencers and other stakeholders, our overarching goal was to raise public awareness and energize the grassroots to take action that would make change in military policy and behavior.
We knew early on that in order to create lasting change and cause real impact – THE INVISIBLE WAR would need more than a standard film PR strategy. More than a movie, this was an opportunity to build a movement.
It would take a multi-faceted approach. Applying pressure from all angles, activating supporters at the grassroots level and strategic grasstops targets, as well as engaging people both online and off – and translating their desire to help into more focused, meaningful actions.
We built a coalition to ensure the theatrical release of THE INVISIBLE WAR was not a flash in the pan, but rather the ignition point to raise awareness, harness outrage and spur a public outcry for the larger issue at hand. We engaged with policymakers, prominent military leaders to serve as validators, key stakeholders, the media, grasstops leaders and individuals in the masses to raise public awareness, harness outrage and eventually shift policy.
The coalition served as a means to get our message out, coordinate policy efforts, and spur grassroots activity. Additionally, we designed and developed an action website (www.NotInvisible.org) to serve as the hub for information, online activation, organization and mobilization. We built community, shared survivors’ stories and spread news throughout social channels. With little to no paid media, our base stands strong with over 100,000 supporters.