While I am preparing to add movie reviews to my site, I was invited to attend a movie that I had recently heard about by a family member. My in-laws, while attending the Sundance festival witnessed that documentary film by Kirby Dick (who was responsible for “The Invisible War”) “The Hunting Ground”. This is a film that will open your eyes to the scary situation that exists is our colleges and universities, involving rape and sexual assault on the campuses that we send our children to.
The film takes us through interviews of these young students as we learn about the statistics involving these rapes and victimization. Between 20 and 25% of young women during their college careers may have attempts or even worse, completions of being attacked during their four years in college. Astounding numbers! As a grandparent, even more mind blowing!
The film takes us through some of the interviews and how the University employees who do speak out, find themselves out of work. We see how the fraternity boys can do no wrong as it is the alumni (mostly frat members) who bring in the revenue. The athletes who participate in sports also get away with a great deal as they are “untouchable”. Again, it is the money that talks. While in this film we are able to meet some of those who are willing to tell their story, the largest percentage of victims either are afraid or leave the school feeling they were at fault. The stories that we see and the people we meet in this marvelous film along with the statistics are truly “eye-openers”.
One of the stories involves a major athlete who despite all of the pieces of the puzzle fitting is free to go and in fact brings a championship to the college. Guess what? The victim is ridiculed and called a slut! How can this happen? How can sports be more important than one’s dignity and why does the word “NO”, mean nothing? If you have children in high school, they need to see this film. If you cannot get to this theater, check to see where else it will play, but know that very soon it will also be aired on cable Television. I would hope that one of the major networks, perhaps one that truly pushes sports, might take it upon themselves to do the right thing and get this to the public. It needs to be seen, so people can help change this for the future!
101 schools are being investigated. According to statistics 9 in 10 rape victims knew their offender! Less than 5% of these incidents are reported to authorities! Males are not exempt from being abused sexually. There are many organizations that are trying to help: Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) is an independent organization that is trying to help. Here in the Greater Chicago area, RVA is working with 13 colleges and universities, providing training to staff and students, assisting with policies and needed changes and working with organizations on awareness. They provide FREE services as well: 24 hour hospital crisis response, medical and legal advocacy and counseling. Learn more about this organization at www.rapevictimsadvocates.org or call 1-312-443-9603 to find out how you can get involved with time or dollars or better yet, both!.
RVA, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, will host a special program “Standing Silent Witness” on Friday, April 24th at noon in the Federal Plaza. Check out www.rapevictimsadvocates.org
This is a movie that I feel SHOULD be seen.Currently it can be viewed at The Landmark Century Theatre located at 2828 N. Clark Street, just north of Diversey. It is PG13 and is being shown at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. On the week-end, a 1:30 p.m. showing as well. the number at the theater 773-248-7759. This is not a “Fandago” ticket, so you might need to call the theater or go online to www.landmarkcentury.com.
Parking at a discount is available in the lot just north of the theater- Century Centre Self Park. Make sure you bring the ticket to the box office for validation. To learn more about this powerful film, visit www.thehuntingground.com