The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that 20% of active-duty female soldiers and 1% of active-duty male soldiers are sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. military. Only 8% of reported cases are ever prosecuted, and 2% result in convictions.
In 2005, Kori was violently raped by her commanding officer. He hit her across the face, dislocating her jaw, and relegating her to years of pain, both physical and emotional. The commanding officer was never convicted, and the Department of Veterans Affairs denied Kori the medical benefits to pay for the surgery she needed for the nerve damage to her face. Kori is presently receiving nerve block injections and has spent years on a soft food diet.
Kori bravely tells her story in the acclaimed documentary film The Invisible War, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards. Focusing on the powerful stories of rape victims, The Invisible War exposes the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling women and men’s struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.
Kori is now speaking at military bases and events around the country and is an advocate for survivors of military sexual assault. In 2012 Newsweek magazine named her one of the world’s “150 Most Fearless Women” and she was one of fifty women to make MORE Magazine’s 3rd Annual Fierce List. In 2014, Kori received an Outstanding Hero of the Year Award from the American Red Cross.
Kori lives with her husband (also a Coast Guard veteran) and their two children.