6 Documentaries on Sexual Assault

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We all bring different perspectives to the conversation surrounding sexual assault, and we all come with varying levels of expertise. For those who want to learn more about sexual assault cases, prosecuting assailants, and the damaging effects of sexual assault across varying intersections of society, here are several documentaries to watch to become better informed.

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The Hunting Ground

One of the most influential documentaries on sexual assault in recent history, this film examines the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and the systemic failure of universities to defend and protect their students. The documentary shows the stories of survivors and the often infuriating legal system that has left their assailants without punishment and institutions without responsibility in keeping their students safe.

It Happened Here

Like “The Hunting Ground,” this film also documents college sexual assault through interviews with victims across college campuses in the U.S. It closely follows five female students who chose to speak out after being sexually assaulted, using their personal testimonies to change the conversation on sexual assault.

Audrie & Daisy

This brand new documentary tells the story of two teenage girls whose sexual assaults were recorded on camera and shared across social media, resulting in devastating consequences for both the girls and their families. What makes this recent and raw story all the more heartbreaking is that neither girl is still alive to tell their stories.

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The Central Park Five

A true story of sexual assault and racial prejudice in the justice system, this film documents the 1989 rape of the “Central Park jogger,” a white woman presumed to have been attacked by black and Latino teenagers. Later exonerated after serving years in prison, the five men and others share the harrowing story behind what was called “the crime of the century.”

The Invisible War

This documentary investigates the staggering number of female soldiers raped in the U.S. military, uncovering how frequently these crimes occur and how most cases are systematically ignored or unreported. 

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India’s Daughter

This movie was banned by the Indian government for depicting the violent gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi. It confronts a country at a crossroads with gender inequality and modernity, revealing the lasting effects of the patriarchal society in India.

“The Hunting Ground,” “It Happened Here,” “Audrie & Daisy” and “The Central Park Five” are all available to stream on Netflix. “The Invisible War” is available on iTunes and Amazon Prime. “India’s Daughter” is available on PBS.org.

Mia is an aspiring cat lady and obsessed with books, beauty, and pop culture. By day she works in publishing in New York City, and by night she can be found in bed, drinking Moscato and binge-watching YouTube videos.