Why Every College Student Should Watch The Hunting Ground

Sexual assault is an often-overlooked issue, and the 2015 documentary The Hunting Ground demonstrates the fight hundreds of college students are facing yearly when reporting sexual assault.

Image source: The Hunting Ground Facebook

The Hunting Ground is directed by Kirby Dick, a renowned director who has often shined a light on topics kept in the shadows, including sexual assault in the military and, more recently, sexual assault on college campuses nationwide.

The film presents multiple students who have been victims of sexual assault on their college campuses, which they either reported yet received no help, or the reporting was made into a long and complex process.

The stories, statistics, and interviews of the film are eye-opening and downright terrifying. In the film, you will both see and hear statistics that will make you uncomfortable and leave you gaping in disbelief, yet ultimately help you realize the horrendous reality of sexual assault reporting.

Within the film, you will be able to hear the story from the victims as well as from several other points-of-view. This includes a clinical psychologist, administrators, parents, campus security, and even the story of the anonymous perpetrators — all so that the viewer can get a full scope of what is occurring in colleges across the country.

In addition, the film is brutally honest. Some of the schools mentioned in the documentary are prestigious universities who have pretended as if nothing is wrong. In addition, it opens your eyes to realize how common sexual assault unfortunately is.

Yet the film, in my eyes, demonstrates courage. Many of the victims presented in the film have been nationally laughed at, bullied, and ultimately blamed. Still, they remain strong, assisting victims from all over the country in filing their own sexual assault claims and fighting the system to bring justice for everyone.

Finally, the film contains a haunting ballad written and performed by Lady Gaga, a survivor of sexual assault herself. The song titled “Till it Happens To You,” is an empowering ballad —meant to demonstrate that it is okay to be expressive and open about sexual assault, as expressed by Gaga.

The documentary is a powerful one that should be watched by the masses to establish more awareness of sexual assault because it is a crucial topic that should never be left in the shadows. And, ultimately, it is up to us to stand by survivors and help them in the fight for justice and for their recovery.

Note: The documentary is available to stream on Netflix.