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SAN DIEGO – The enormous obstacles and emotional torment a female solider confronts in reporting a sexual assault in the military are the focus of the three-part Web series “Lauren” debuting today on YouTube’s new channel WIGS, which focuses on drama for women.
Featuring “Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellisario, “Lauren” gives a close-up look at the challenges female service members face in trying to find justice after being raped. It’s a problem to which military leaders have given unprecedented attention this year.
The Defense Department has estimated that 86 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, an indication that some women are worried about the effect reporting an assault could have on their career and that they mistrust the military prosecution system. Nearly 3,200 sexual assaults were reported in the military last year.
Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, “Lauren” sets out to show viewers how unfair and unsympathetic the military can be toward abused female service members. At the same time, it depicts the turmoil of many of the victims, who have a deep love and respect for the military but often feel betrayed after coming forward.
After today’s debut, the second and third episodes in the series will be available Wednesday and Friday.
Bellisario hopes the series will help push efforts to prevent sexual assault and prosecute it to the fullest degree.
“My hope is people will see that this is not slandering this great institution but rather holding it up to a high standard and asking it to recognize there is an issue and that it should be addressed,” she said. “It’s not anti-military at all.”