Documentary director Kirby Dick tackles the issue of sexual assault on college campuses in his latest film “The Hunting Ground.” Featuring several women who share their stories and demand their voices finally be heard, the film’s definining statistic is that “one in five women, their dream school will become their nightmare.”
The young women featured in “The Hunting Ground” were elated when they were accepted into their desired colleges of Harvard, Yale, Stanford and others. But that excitement was short lived.
“The first few weeks I made some of my best friends, but two of us were sexually assaulted before classes had even started,” said one of the featured students in the film’s trailer.
The young women’s reports were allegedly discouraged and never brought to light by the universities they trusted.
“I went to the dean of students’ office and she said, ‘I just want to make sure that you don’t talk to anyone about this,’” another woman said in the trailer.
The film’s website encourages victims, survivors and advocates to make a quilt square on Instagram with testimonies, encouragement and hope. The digital quilt square will be connected to make a Monument Quilt.
Another one of the film’s featured women, Kamilah Willingham described her attack in an interview with Variety.com. Willingham claims her attacker was on top of her and had a hand inside her underwear.
“The Hunting Ground,” which will hit theaters in March 20 and will air on CNN later this year, not only reveals these women’s stories, but it also gets at the root of why this issue continues. Several experts featured in the film suggested universities don’t report sexual assault due to financial incentives and to protect reputations.
For every 1,000 women attending college, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year, according to the National Institute of Justice. Other reports indicate many victims don’t report the incident.