Kori Cioca – #WhatsYourPeace?

September 22, 2015

Kori Cioca knew from a young age that she wanted to join the military. When she enlisted in the Coast Guard, she was honored to serve her country. But her dream quickly became a nightmare. Her supervisor began to harass her and violently sexually assaulted her, leaving her with severe, lasting nerve damage. When she reported the incident, she was met with indifference. Her attacker received only a minor 30-day suspension, and was then able to continue his duties. The Department of Veteran Affairs denied Kori medical benefits to pay for the surgery she needed to repair her nerve damage. Kori, on the other hand, was left to deal with unimaginable physical and mental trauma, compounded with the frustration and heartbreak of realizing that the institution she had wanted so badly to be a part of would not stand by her, or other survivors of military sexual assault.

In 2012, Kori’s story was featured in the Academy-Award documentary film The Invisible War. In the years since, she has traveled the country as a speaker with nonprofit organization Peace is Loud, sharing her experience at venues including colleges, military bases and conferences. Speaking at the military bases is especially important to her, as she told Foreign Policy Interrupted:

…The feedback I get afterward keeps me powered up to make change… It leaves me with hope that we can change the future for others and protect our service members.

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