As criticism of the military’s handling of sexual assault heats up, PFC Liberty Stryker, a novel by Peggy Tibbetts, tells the story of one female soldier’s struggle with sexual assault and victimization during the Iraq War.
Nineteen-year old Libby Stryker is plucked from her unit and dragged across Iraq on a secret mission without explanation. “What military women expect is to be treated like soldiers. Not like pieces of meat,” Tibbetts said. For PFC Liberty Stryker, sexual assault is not only part of her initiation into the Army, it is a never-ending battle for the young soldier.
Just as the Audience Award winner for best documentary at Sundance 2012, The Invisible War exposes the pervasive and insidious cover-up of sexual assault in all branches of the military, Tibbetts said her research on women in the Army revealed the same pattern. “I didn’t set out to expose sexual assault of female soldiers in my book,” Tibbetts said. “But my research showed me that’s it is hideous reality for too many women who serve. Women make up 14 percent of the Army ranks, but they account for 95 percent of all sex crime victims. I couldn’t ignore the facts.”
While teens are the target audience, Tibbetts believes her book appeals to all readers who enjoy a story of adventure and espionage in the war zone.