It Was Rape: A Documentary
April 1, 2013
Recently at one of our Sex, Etc. teen editorial staff meetings, I watched Jennifer Baumgardner’s documentary It Was Rape. The film focuses on the lives of eight different women from different walks of life who all share one common thing: they were raped. Through the stories of these brave women, the documentary explores how rape affected them and shows us that rape is something that can happen anywhere and to some of the people closest to us.
Hearing these women’s stories and seeing pictures of them as young women really had an impact on me emotionally. I realized how close to my age they were when they were raped, and I couldn’t imagine going through some of the experiences that they went through. But rape happens to girls and women every day. Watching this documentary made me feel deeply sad, but hopeful at the same time, knowing that these women are doing something to put an end to rape.
The one moment in the film that really struck a chord with me was when one of the women, Dena Wyum, talked about what she would say to her rapist today.
“If I could confront my rapist right now, I think that I would ask him if he could be strong enough, like I believe I am, to join this movement that’s working to end this and share his story. And talk about maybe some of the thoughts that went through his head and talking to young men about the fact that this isn’t right, and that he screwed up. But that he wants things to be better for women and that he wants things to be better for young men.”
I found this very moving to hear that after being raped by this man, she would put aside her hatred for him and only wanted him to support the fight to end violence against women. She, like many of the other women in the documentary, was very inspiring and made this documentary worth watching.
Rape and sexual assault are topics that aren’t given enough attention, although someone is sexually assault every two minutes in the U.S. Hopefully the recent passing of the Violence Against Women Act, which allocated $1.6 billion for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, will help in the fight to end rape. You can do something too: Tell your friends about this film, organize a screening or find one near you!