Campus Rape Doc The Hunting Ground Screens Tonight

The film and panel discussion mark the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

still from The Hunting Ground

An image from the movie “The Hunting Ground”

Tonight a new widely acclaimed documentary about sexual assault on campus, The Hunting Ground, will screen at the Ritz Five at Second and Walnut in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) to mark the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. After the film, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Tara Murtha, a journalist who’s written extensively about sexual violence and who now works for the Women’s Law Project.

The documentary was directed by produced by Amy Ziering and directed by Kirby Dick, the team that also made The Invisible War, the Academy Award-nominated documentary about sexual assault in the American military. When The Hunting Ground premiered at Sundance, Ramin Satoodeh wrote for Variety:

Producer Amy Ziering said that she and Dick came up with the idea for the film when they were screening their previous documentary, The Invisible War, about sexual assault in the U.S. military, on college campuses. She said she’d hear from women at every campus, telling her: “You know this happened here.”

The documentary took aim at a large number of colleges. That list included Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Florida State University, UC Berkeley, Arizona State University, UC Davis, USC, Swarthmore College, George Mason University, Amherst College, Brandeis University and Occidental College, among others.

One of those schools, Swarthmore, made the news again this week with an incident that pertains to the issue of campus rape. The Delta Upsilon fraternity house had the words “RAPE HAVEN” painted on its stone facade earlier this week; maintenance crews removed the graffiti. Swarthmore has been struggling to revisit its processes for adjudicating cases of alleged sexual assault for more than a year now. The film will surely touch upon this.

Also in the local news: a 19-year-old West Chester University student is being held at Chester County Prison on rape and sexual assault charges in connection with crimes that allegedly occurred in a fraternity house last week.

The film runs from 7 to 9, with the discussion to follow. The panel’s participants are the film’s producer, Amy Ziering; Women’s Law Project Executive Director Carol E. Tracy; NSVRC prevention campaign specialist Laura Palumbo; and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Vice President of Public Relations Kristin Houser.

View the trailer for The Hunting Ground below: