April is SAAM and CAPM

April 01, 2020 - April 30, 2020

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Child Abuse Prevention Month (CAPM). There are numerous ways you can engage and educate yourself and others on both efforts. We’ve assembled many resources here for you.

Watch List 

We included links to either more information on each movie or series. Not all links are free viewing of the title listed, but at least offer some options for you to consider, should you want to view any of them.

  • Roll Red Roll
    • At a pre-season football party in small-town Steubenville, Ohio, a heinous crime took place: the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. But it was the disturbing social media evidence uncovered online by crime blogger Alex Goddard that provoked the most powerful questions about the case, and about the collusion of teen bystanders, teachers, parents and coaches to protect the assailants and discredit the victim. As it painstakingly reconstructs the night of the crime and its aftermath, Roll Red Roll uncovers the engrained rape culture at the heart of the incident, acting as a cautionary tale about what can happen when teenage social media bullying runs rampant and adults look the other way. The film unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”
  • The Rape of Recy Taylor
    • Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women and reveals Rosa Parks’ intimate role in Recy Taylor’s story. An attempted rape against Parks was but one inspiration for her ongoing work to find justice for countless women like Taylor. The 1955 bus boycott was an end result, not a beginning.
  • Unbelievable
    • A dramatization of the 2008–2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape cases, Unbelievable follows “Marie, a teenager who reported her rape, complied with the law enforcement investigation, who was then bullied into recanting, and then was charged with lying about having been raped. Watch and learn about how hard it is for survivors to turn to the criminal justice system, and how America’s toxic beliefs about sexual assault prevent victims from seeing justice.
  • The Hunting Ground
    • The Hunting Ground is a 2015 documentary film about the incidence of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States and the reported failure of college administrations to deal with it adequately.
  • Audrie and Daisy
    • In two towns on different sides of America, two teenage girls pass out while intoxicated at high school parties and, while unconscious, both are sexually assaulted by boys they call friends. In the aftermath, the girls each endure online harassment, both attempt suicide, and tragically, one dies. The film explores this new public square of shame from the perspective of the teenagers and their families — including the boys involved in the assaults and the girls willing to speak out publicly.
  • The Invisible War
    • An investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.
  • Untouchable
    • A look at the rise and fall of disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein featuring interviews with former colleagues and those who accused him of sexual misconduct.
  • It Happened Here
    • A compelling documentary from director Lisa F. Jackson and producer Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen, explores sexual assault on campuses through the personal testimonials of five survivors who transform their experiences into a springboard for change. In raw and intimate interviews, the students describe surviving sexual assault only to be met with apathy, disbelief, blame and retaliation from the authorities when they tried to report the crime. When they tried to get justice, they were ignored, belittled and shamed, while their attackers remained on campus with impunity. But instead of hiding away in shame, they chose to speak out, and found a way to force institutional change.
  • I Am Evidence
    • I AM EVIDENCE exposes the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States through a character–driven narrative, bringing much needed attention to the disturbing pattern of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault survivors. Why is there a rape kit backlog? What can we do to fix the problem? This film explores these questions through survivors’ experiences as they trace the fates of their kits and re-engage in the criminal justice process. I AM EVIDENCE illuminates how the system has impeded justice while also highlighting those who are leading the charge to work through the backlog and pursue long-awaited justice in these cases.
  • The 13th Step
    • The 13th Step is an explosive new documentary film by Monica Richardson that exposes the criminal and sexually predatory behavior that occurs systematically within Alcoholics Anonymous. Despite repeated warnings from respected board members and longtime members, this behavior goes unchecked by Alcoholic Anonymous’ world headquarters. It is exacerbated by the sentencing of criminals and sex offenders to AA meetings without the knowledge of other AA members.
  • Twist of Faith
    • This documentary, about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, focuses on the life of Ohio fireman Tony Comes, who was abused by a priest at the age of 14. Having long buried the secrets of his past, Comes decides to take action when stories start surfacing in the media about other boys victimized by priests. As Comes, who now has a wife and two children, decides to prosecute Dennis Gray, the priest who sodomized him, he must face his community and confront his belief in God.
  • The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
    • The story details how the system failed a murdered eight-year-old boy who before his death suffered abuse from his mother and her boyfriend. The abuse eventually lead to his death. The documentary highlights how Los Angeles social workers along with law enforcement left eight-year-old-Gabriel Fernandez in an abusive home with more than enough warning signs and evidence of abuse.

Reading List 

General Readings: Whenever possible, the link included goes to a free online library.

  • Transforming a Rape Culture   Revised Buchwald, Fletcher, Roth et al.
    • Focuses on the origin of sexual violence and intimidation in American culture. This edition includes essays on race, internet pornography, role of schools and churches, the role of sports in sexual violence, featuring pieces from America’s immigrant communities on their experiences with violence, harassment, and stigma.
  • I Never Told Anyone   Bass and Thornton
    • This deeply moving collection of first-person accounts of child sexual abuse features stories and poems written by female survivors, informing readers of their fear, anger, pain and their journeys coming to terms with the silence that allowed them to be abused. With courage and honesty, it offers hope for change and healing.
  • Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame   Michael Scarce
    • This compelling and comprehensive book sheds light on the un and under reported crimes of sexual violence against men and boys. Clearly illustrating many issues men face after rape, including isolation and shame, identity, health concerns and more.
  • Not That Bad Dispatches from Rape Culture  edited by Roxane Gay
    • This anthology collects original and published pieces that address what it means to live in a society where women experience harassment, violence, aggression while also being second-guessed, discredited, blown off, shamed, mocked and bullied for speaking out. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, highlighting stories from well-known actors, writers and experts, the collection explores child molestation, street harassment, and the rape epidemic within the refugee crisis. The stories within reflects and challenges the world we live in that “not that bad” must no longer be good enough.
  • The Beginning and End of Rape  Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America Sarah Deer
    • Challenging society’s perception that violence against Native and Indigenous women is an epidemic- and epidemic is biological and blameless- to assert that violence against Native women is historical and political, bound by oppression and colonial violence. These essays also explore the possibility of actual positive change in a world where Native and Indigenous women are systematically undervalued and unprotected.
  • Compelled to Crime the gender entrapment of battered black women Beth E Richie
    • This books tells the stories of black women incarcerated in a New York City correctional facility, exploring what happens when the criminal justice system is a regressive force in women’s lives. Borrowing the legal notion of “gender entrapment”, this book details the ways in which Black and African-American women, hemmed into the corners of society by violence, get trapped into a cycle of desperation, traumatization, criminality and violence abetted and perpetuated by the legal system that failed to protect them.
  • Asking For It The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture- and What We Can Do About It Kate Harding
    • Every 7 minutes, someone in America commits a rape. Whether it’s a celebrity, sports star, politician or the average Joe/Johanna, there’s a community eager and waiting to make excuses and disbelieve. Combining in-depth research with her in-your-face voice, the author makes her case that America is more effective at supporting rapists than victims. This book draws on real life examples of rape culture, from gaffes to institutional failures, and ultimately offers suggestions for how our society can better respond to sexual violence.

For Survivors, their Family and their Friends: Whenever possible, the link included goes to a free online library.

  • Helping Your Child Recover from Sexual Abuse  Caren Adams and Jennifer Fey
    • Offers practical guidance for parents in the days and months after a child discloses abuse, discussing each stage of recovery, and providing sample conversations and activities for parent and child. Learn what to do when abuse is disclosed, help a child cope with the legal system, guidance on how to respond to reactions from other family, get educated about a child’s response to trauma, learn how children and parents grieve differently. This book also includes information about rebuilding your child’s self-esteem, how to help them deal with confusion about sexuality, and how to help a child feel safe and in control.
  • The Sexual Healing Journey Wendy Maltz
    • This comprehensive guide helps survivors of sexual abuse heal from the traumatic experiences of their past, improve relationships, and regain control in their intimate lives. The readings take you step by step through the recovery process, integrating expert advice with exercises and proven techniques, to help you on your journey of healing.
  • Beginning to Heal  Revised Edition Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
    • A First Book for men and women who were sexually abused as children. This easy-to-read guide offers hope for all survivors starting their healing journey, taking you through key stages of the healing process- from grief and anger to resolution and moving on.
  • How Long Does it Hurt?  Revised Edition Cynthia Mather with Kristina Debye
    • A guide to recovering from incest and sexual abuse for teenagers, their friends and their families. This step-by-stpe guide speaks to survivors of sexual abuse to help them come to terms with what has happened to them, what is happening to them, and how they can overcome their feelings of isolation, confusion and self-doubt.
  • The Rape Recovery Handbook Aphrodite Matsakis, PH.D.
    • Survivors of sexual abuse often suffer from symptoms of depression, panic and anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse and disordered eating. This handbook provides a framework in which you can heal, beginning by establishing a personal safety plan. Survivors can use this book to learn how to manage emotional pain, getting valuable coping techniques for dealing with the aftermath of rape, and the conflicting and debilitating feelings many struggle with.
  • Allies in Healing When the Person you Love was Sexually Abused as a Child Laura Davis
    • Based on interviews with and workshops for partners, this book offers practical advice and encouragement to all girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, partners and lovers, on how to support the person you love while caring for yourself. Showing how to deepen compassion, improve communication, and implement healing as a shared activity, while addressing loved ones’ questions about sexual abuse, recognizing and responding to needs, dealing with crisis, and many more.