The Hunting Ground: Catalyst for action to end sexual violence on campus in 2015

Written by David Lee

In 2014, sexual assault on college campuses became front-page news – in 2015 it will have an even larger profile as activists, journalists, filmmakers, government officials sexual violence prevention practitioners, and college administrators will be taking more action on this topic.

Just in the last year, stories of student activists naming the problem of campus sexual assault drew national attention. The White House established a task force, issued a report and developed the It’s on Us campaign to address the issue. The federal government released a list of colleges and universities undergoing investigation of sexual violence (starting with 55 institutions – now up to 94) and the Department of Education issued regulations on addressing sexual violence.

Yet, I expect even more attention and action in 2015. The year started with the January 2015 premiere of The Hunting Ground at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was one of the “Top 10 Buzzed About Festival Films.” This film will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on February 27, and will open on other cities later. And The Hunting Ground will be shown on CNN in the fall.

I saw The Hunting Ground earlier this week – it is a compelling and moving account of the horrors of the experience of rape, the even more horrifying complacency of colleges mishandling, ignoring and minimizing sexual assault, and the flourishing powerful student movement to create change. I left the screening both saddened and energized. This film will be an important catalyst for action to support efforts toward preventing sexual violence.

To truly find ways to prevent sexual violence on college and university campuses, we must build collaboration between students, communities, and institutions, while always putting student voices first. Student activists, sexual violence prevention practitioners from local rape crisis centers, state coalitions, national organizations, faculty, parents and alumni all have important roles to play in working with college administrations. Together, we can encourage college and university administrators to take concrete action and create comprehensive plans to support survivors and create the social change necessary to end rape culture on campus.

This work will take a long-term commitment. It will require ongoing, meaningful engagement of students, prevention efforts beyond short-term presentations and on-line modules, overhaul of campuses policies and procedure, and authentic partnerships to create change. I strongly encourage you to see The Hunting Ground, invite others to see the film, and work together to create change. All of us at CALCASA and PreventConnect will continue to provide support, resources and opportunities to learn from each other to support this movement for change.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operated the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense.

Click below to view their resources and get connected with the help you need.

Not Alone-First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault

This report created by the Task Force to Protect Student From Sexual Assault brings together some action steps and recommendations towards addressing sexual assault on college and university campuses.

Read through the first ever report established through the White House on Campus Sexual Assault.

2014 California Student Summit Report on Sexual Assault by CALCASA

On April 3 & 4, 2014, CALCASA brought together fifty students to share their experiences and develop recommendation for universities, colleges, legislators, funders and other stakeholders to meet the needs of students most effectively when addressing sexual violence.

Their perspectives and experiences created a forum of discussion that enlightened many of the participants on how to best handle sexual assault cases given many setbacks victims and survivors faced when reporting. This report publishes many of the discussions, suggestions, experiences, and thoughts expressed at the Student Summit Forum.

Click below to read the report.

Prevalence and Characteristics of Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization–Survey, 2011

This report examines sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization using data from 2011. The report describes the overall prevalence of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence victimization; racial/ethnic variation in prevalence; how types of perpetrators vary by violence type; and age at which victimization typically begins. For intimate partner violence, the report also examines a range of negative impacts experienced as a result of victimization, including the need for services.

Click below to read the report.


Primary Prevention: Bringing it All Together

This web conference will follow-up to the logic model trainings held in 2013, Regional trainings on prevention strategies and using data to address concerns raised in previous trainings and web conferences.



Green Dot’s Dorothy Edwards on Maximum Impact

In this statement written by Dorothy Edwards on key consideration for building a comprehensive prevention and education program, she discusses the important aspects of that make violence prevention programming and education impactful.

Click on the link below to read her one-page statement.