The campus rape epidemic is jarring, and my only discomfort in calling it “an epidemic” is that I sincerely doubt that any of this is new. Sexual assault has plagued women since the dawn of man, and it’s taken us 200,000 years to open up a dialogue about it. Finally we have, but it hasn’t been easy. We learn that one in five women is sexually assaulted on college campuses. This is happening among the best and brightest. It’s terrifying. More terrifying, though, is how unreceptive people are of the statistics — their unwillingness to believe that something so horrific is happening on college campuses, and the lengths at which administrations of universities will go to cover them up for fear of a scandal.
Riding on the coattails of their Oscar-nominated documentary, The Invisible War, detailing the coverups of sexual assault cases in the military, Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering were made aware that the same phenomenon is ongoing on college campuses. After nearly every showing of their documentary at universities, a student approached them and said, “Actually, this happened to me here.” And so, Dick and Ziering have spent the last two years trying to uncover what’s been covered up for so long in their new documentary The Hunting Ground. The trailer is below.
When asked why administrators would go to such great lengths to protect criminals, cover up scandals, and silence victims, Dick and Ziering agreed that it all boiled down to one thing: fear. “They are afraid,” Dick told Vice, “The numbers will be high, maybe shockingly high. So they’ll be known as the ‘rape school.’ The reality is it’s happening at all schools, they’re actually being proactive about it. It takes courage though.”
We thank the young women, as well as Dick and Ziering, for being brave..
Image via YouTube