After wanting to see this documentary for quite some time now, I finally got the opportunity.
For those of you who don’t know, The Hunting Ground is a documentary about the rape epidemic on college campuses in the U.S. The film shows survivors sharing their stories, the outcomes of their cases-or lack there of-the unexpected treatment they received, & then beautifully shows how many of them transformed into activists.
While watching the film, my husband & I sat on the couch startled by the statistics that popped on the screen about sexual assault on college campuses…what was even more shocking, however, was the devastating fact that major universities rarely ever suspended those who committed rape. I don’t recall exact statistics but I remember seeing numbers in the 300s for cases of sexual assault & then seeing single digit numbers, or even worse ZERO, for suspensions that resulted.
& it wasn’t a singular occurrence.
In fact, many universities threatened legal retaliation against CNN, who aired the documentary. CNN didn’t flinch & aired the film anyway.
After this declaration was made, the president of Florida State asked people not to view it….hmmmm, wonder why?
Creators of the film shared this, stating this is what he didn’t want you to see.
Other accounts from survivors were equally as shocking and devastating.
Saddest of all, as my husband pointed out, the rapes themselves did not completely destroy the victims telling their satires…the treatment they received afterwards did.
One survivor further supported this in saying the rape itself was bad…but the treatment she received afterwards was much worse.
& I can absolutely relate to that.
Some of things that were said to me during my exposure to my rapist were as followed: “Why were you alone with him?” “Were you drinking?” “This is a big deal, are you sure?”
&, by my Dr. at the time when I went in to be drug tested in order to see if what he’d given me could be picked up, “Where were you for that to happen to you?”
Not…who could have done this to you?
After that, I tried seeing a therapist in the rural community in which I lived..who asked me, “Was your rapist attractive? What did he look like?”
As someone who is currently obtaining their masters degree in social work, I truly have no words for this one.
Rape is an epidemic across the country in which we live, as is rape culture.
While rape & its aftermath are bad enough for those who encounter this misfortune, all too often, it is not the worst of what we as survivors experience. It is the treatment we get when speaking out…when asking for help.
This has got to change. &, it is my hope, that this video will help combat the idea of rape culture and all it entails.