The Invisible War explores incidents of violent sexual assault that occur in the U.S. military.
FOLCS hosted award-winning producer, Maria Cuomo Cole, social activist, Jessica Nicole Hinves, and litigator, Susan Burke, for a screening and discussion.
Maria Cuomo Cole
Maria Cuomo Cole is the award-winning producer of the feature documentary, Newtown, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In her career, she has tackled such relevant subjects as gun violence, homelessness, veterans’ PTSD, Domestic Violence and sexual assault.
Most recently, she executive produced The Hunting Ground, directed by Kirby Dick. This Emmy and Peabody award winning film has been lauded as a powerful investigation into the epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. In 2012, Ms. Cuomo Cole worked with the same film team, executive producing the 2014 Oscar® nominated documentary, The Invisible War. This groundbreaking documentary about the epidemic of rape and sexual violence in the U.S. military, which served as a catalyst for federal legislation and enacted federal policy reforms.
Jessica Nicole Hinves
Former Airman First Class Jessica Nicole Hinves entered the United States Air Force in 2007 at age 25 as a crew chief on F-15 aircrafts. The daughter of a military family, Hinves left Texas for deployment training at Lackland Air Force Base to start what she believed would be a lifelong career. However her time serving was cut very short after suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following an assault by a fellow airman in 2009. Hinves was first transferred then, because of her diagnosis, discharged against her will.
In addition to not receiving justice for her case, Hinves also found resentment instead of support from her fellow service members, and her PTSD symptoms made returning to her normal life difficult. Meanwhile her rapist was awarded twice during the yearlong investigation and never prosecuted.
Today Hinves has found a place in victim advocacy and activism. She is working as a resource for men and women who have been sexually assaulted in the military and has used social media to connect to veterans and soldiers who share her struggles. She also lobbies Congress to pass legislation for a fair judicial process for victims of sexual assault.
Susan L. Burke is an experienced and successful litigator. During the course of her 25 year legal career, Burke has both defended and prosecuted civil actions involving a wide range of topics, including human rights, pharmaceutical fraud, defense contractor fraud, employment and disability discrimination, election law, and environmental torts. Presently, Burke focuses on fraud, class actions and mass torts.
For the past 11 years, Burke has been AV-rated by Martindale, the highest peer review rating available. Susan received her J.D. degree from Catholic University in 1987, where she won the Faculty Award for having the highest academic average. She graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she majored in international law and politics.