The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Curated Collection: Stay Educated About Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual campaign that aims to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to educate individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This week’s theme (April 15 – 21) is “Stay Educated” and as such, the compilation of documentaries below provide different stories about sexual assault and how it presents itself in different parts of our society.


“India’s Daughter”

Dir. by Leslee Udwin

On Dec. 12, 2012, Jyoti Singh was assaulted and gang-raped on a bus in New Dehli after watching a movie with her male friend. Unfortunately, she died from her injuries after multiple emergency surgeries. Four out of the five men involved were arrested for the crime and sentenced to death but the resulting public outrage and protests gained international attention. This documentary attempts to dissect the patriarchal society that exists in India and this is best presented in an interview given by one of the perpetrators, Mukesh Singh. He  felt no remorse and believed Jyoti was responsible for her own assault. Victim blaming is a common theme throughout the public response to Jyoti’s murder. However, the women in India lobbied for the government to put more measures in place to protect women from future acts of violence.


“The Hunting Ground”

Dir. by Kirby Dick

This documentary highlights instances of sexual assault across college campuses and evaluates the responses of these institutions to various allegations. Many of the victims talk about how their rapists  received little to no repercussions while the victims themselves were forced to face public scrutiny and vilification from their school administration. The documentary also analyzes the rape culture that prevails on these campuses and how victims of assaults are affected. It also discusses college athletes who commit sexual assault and how they are protected by their school administration. This documentary highlights the need for schools to be held accountable for their blatant disregard for the safety and wellbeing of their students by ignoring and underreporting sexual assault on college campuses.


“The Invisible War”

Dir. by Kirby Dick

“The Invisible War” takes a deep look into sexual assault in the military. It attempts to show how many people in the armed forces are victims of sexual assault at the hands of their superiors and peers. Not only are these victims afraid to come forward, but those who do face ridicule and often times, their allegations are dismissed. The documentary’s main takeaway is that internal allegations of sexual assault in the military should be resolved by an independent body, in an attempt to prevent victims from feeling intimidated.


“Hot Girls Wanted”

Dir. by Jill Bauer and Ronna Grandus

“Hot Girls Wanted” differs from other documentaries about sexual assault because it focuses on sexual assault in the porn industry. It follows young girls who have decided to enter the porn industry and shows how they are subsequently exploited. It also exposes aspects of the porn industry that preys on the innocence and desperation of these young girls.


“Audrie and Daisy”

Dir. by Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen

This documentary follows the story of two young girls, Audrie and Daisy, who were both raped in separate incidents by boys that they thought they trusted. Two key features in the documentary are the impact that social media had on the two separate cases and also how cyberbullying became a means of victim blaming these young women. The documentary also covers how society and the media protect rapists and condemns victims, as well as the psychological effect this has on furthering the trauma of these victims and their loved ones.

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