After exposing the endemic rates of and barriers to justice regarding rape in the military in the Oscar-nominated The Invisible War, documentary director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering will next explore the institutional conflicts of interest and “boys will be boys” culture that enables campus sexual assault.
“The statistics are staggering — our country has a moral obligation to address this issue. We hope our film will provide a wake-up call to our nation to better protect our students,” commented Dick.
Recent cases that have made the news illustrate the ways campus rape culture institute a de facto decriminalization of rape: unsympathetic or poorly trained counselors and administrators, bureaucratic reluctance to get law enforcement involved for fear of bad publicity, the suggested or enforced removal of rape victims from campus, and a slap on the wrist (or less) for perpetrators, thus allowing them to assault again. The problem is so widespread the federal government launched investigations into 85 schools this year for mishandling cases of rape.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center reports that one in four female college students will be the victim of sexual assault during her time on campus and that a rape occurs on an American college campus every 21 hours. One in 12 college-age men admit to having committed the mainstream definition of rape or attempted rape, but nearly none of them identify themselves as “rapists.”
As with The Invisible War, Kirby and Dick will “follow the personal struggles of several people working to deal with their own trauma, including several survivors who come forward with their stories, to their families and school administrations,” according to Deadline.
“The Invisible War was a landmark film that had a major impact within the military. That said, there’s still a lot more work to be done across every aspect of our society. In conjunction with the exceptional team of Amy and Kirby, CNN and this powerful film, we hope to draw attention and engage in real debates about this national crisis,” said RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who are funding the feature with CNN.
Dick and Ziering’s new documentary is planned for a 2015 theatrical release and a broadcast on CNN thereafter.