Campus sexual assault film brought specifically to MU

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COLUMBIA - A special screening of the documentary "The Hunting Ground" premiered at The Missouri Theatre Thursday in the midst of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The film focuses on rape on U.S. college campuses. It follows several victims of rape and sexual assault, institutional cover-ups, the social toll of individuals who are raped and what they're doing to get justice.

Emily Collette, a recent graduate of Stephens College said the issue of sexual assault on campuses hits home for her.

"I've known personally some friends who have been victims on college campuses, and they are still having trouble getting heard," Collette said. "Neither of them-their assailant was ever prosecuted, nothing ever happened, they were never expelled, they were never even suspended. So, it's definitely important to talk about this and not make it such a secretive thing anymore."

Paul Sturtz, program director of Ragtag and founder of the True/False Film festival said after seeing the film at the Sundance Film Festival, it was essential to bring it to Columbia.

"We can't say because of this screening, 'that prevented this number of rapes', it's really hard to have a one-to-one relationship like that," Sturtz said. "But, I hope it's part of a larger series of discussions that are happening all over the community this year."

According to oneinfourusa.com, one in four college women report surviving rape or attempted rape at some point in their lifetime.

Since August 2014, there have been approximately 144 incidents, including sexual misconduct, harassment and discrimination, reported on MU's campus. 135 of those incidents fall under Title IX standards. MU's Title IX campus coordinator, Linda Bennett, said there has been an increase in reported incidents.

Following the screening was an open forum for attendees to share their thoughts and ask questions.

The film can be seen at Ragtag Cinema's beginning Friday, April 10 for exactly one week.

 

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