College sexual assault documentary changing more than minds
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in every five women will be raped while in college. A number that film maker Amy Ziering says is too high and needs to be reversed She is hoping her new documentary "The Hunting Ground" can be the catalyst for change.
"The film is remarkable. It's sort of an in-depth, investigation of what goes on on our college campuses, all of them, around the country," Ziering said.
Ziering was the guest of Austin's Survive 2 Thrive foundation. A group aimed at helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Courtney Santana is the executive director of the foundation and a survivor of assault.
"It's important here because Austin seems to be the hub of progressive thought in Texas, to me. We try to integrate the arts, music, and film to create that environment where we can have the conversation," she said.
A conversation Santana said she had to have with her daughter before sending her off to college.
"Last year I started thinking about her going off to school and I was taken back by how (sexual assaults) were being handled (on-campus) and I saw the film and it scared me, it terrified me," Santana said.
"Do not think that the administrators and the university have your child's best interest at heart necessarily when it comes to these crimes. That's the first thing and I think that's the very shocking and revelatory thing. We all think and imagine that the students' interests and the interests of the administration are align and they are going to be there 100% but that's not exactly true," Ziering said.
Ziering said the documentary has helped empower victims by giving them a voice but is confident universities from across the state and country will take the most from the film.
"I'm hoping that the institutions eventually will benefit. That they will head this film as a rightful critique and they'll say 'we can and will do better.' and they can and should. There is no excuse for this. A lot of our social issues we can't solve but this is solvable."
You can find the documentary, "The Hunting Ground", on Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon. For more information on the documentary and the group "Survive 2 Thrive" follow the links below.
Click here to learn more about the Survive2Thrive Foundation.
Click here to learn more about The Hunting Ground limited engagement event in Austin.
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