April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Commit to learning more about the problem of sexual violence and ways you can better support survivors by watching documentaries, films, and series that highlight survivors and the impact of sexual violence on their lives.
Below are summaries of movies and shows that our New Orleans Advocacy Team recommend to get you started.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Content Warning: serial rape, sexual assault with a weapon, child sexual abuse, victim-blaming, disbelief of survivors of sexual trauma
Unbelievable is a television series that documents the impact of a serial rapist on the lives of multiple women in Washington State and Colorado. Based on a true story, the show focuses on the life of a teenage girl named Marie Adler who was sexually assaulted by a stranger in her home in Lynnwood, Washington. Following the assault, Marie reports to the police only to have them charge her with lying about the assault because she is unable to perfectly recall the details of the assault after they force her to tell the story of the assault over and over again. The show captures the ways in which our society and criminal justice system view survivors of sexual violence as untrustworthy, as well as specific ways that individual survivors may be deemed “unbelievable.” The show also comprehensively depicts just how difficult it is to prosecute a sexual assault case within our current criminal justice system. And ultimately, Unbelievable affirms that the first critical step when responding to sexual violence is to unwaveringly believe survivors.
Where to Watch: HBO
Content Warning: Sexual assault with multiple perpetrators, drug-facilitated assault
In the series I May Destroy You, a writer is sexually assaulted while out at a bar while attempting to pull an all-nighter to meet their deadline. The series follows the main character, Arabella, and their journey in piecing together what happened, as well as healing from sexual trauma. The show also highlights the experience of being a millennial person of color, and the expectations placed on their generation. This series seems to seamlessly blend together the heavy realities that come with healing from trauma, while still having its comedic and lighter moments.
Where to Watch: Netflix
Content Warning: Sexual assault involving minors, sex trafficking, grooming
This limited docuseries highlights the many survivors that were affected by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In this series, the troubling reality of the broken criminal justice system is magnified by the wealth and privilege that Epstein held. Further, his position of power enabled the abuse to continue undisturbed for as long as it did. While this series is quite dark, it features the voices of powerful survivors who are shedding light on their past experiences, and well as their intentions going forward.
The following is a list of additional movies, documentaries and shows to help you increase your knowledge of sexual assault.
- Abducted in Plain Sight
- Abuse in the Catholic Church
- Athlete A
- Audrie and Daisy
- Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator
- Children of God
- Epstein: Behind the Facade
- The Girl Who Became Three Boys
- The Hunting Ground
- It Happened Here
- Roll Red Roll
- The Rape of Recy Taylor
- Scouts Honor
- Surviving R. Kelly
- Served: Harvey Weinstein
- Unspeakable Acts