(Content/Trigger Warning for Sexual Violence)
"The film 'It Was Rape' boldly explores sexual violence through the experiences of several survivors. In doing so, this film both challenges the audience to think about sexual violence in a deeper, more nuanced way and inspires a genuine empathy for individuals impacted by violence." —Sarah Dodd, assistant director of the Sexual Assault Prevention Programs at North Dakota State University
Why must we learn to listen? Denial allows sexual violence to thrive.
Plot outline, according to Jennifer Baumgardner, director and producer:
"In 2008, spurred on by the epidemic of sexual violence that we steep in every day and taking a cue from a successful awareness project about abortion I created, I started the 'It Was Rape' Project. At first it was just a T-shirt that started a conversation about how common, yet silenced, rape is.
Soon, I began gathering stories from people who’d been raped-- as children, as men, as teens, on dates, pulled down in the bushes. The stories were so plentiful and so painful, sometimes I wanted to stop listening. But, ultimately, the listening became the activism.
When I was 12, my sister was raped the first time she tried alcohol at a party. Back then, I had no words for what had happened to my sister, no ability to understand it as anything other than 'she had sex.' It took years of learning about feminism and going to speakouts and Take Back the Night Marches to learn how to really listen and understand the stories of rape that had affected so many women and men in my life.
Coming to understand just one person's story-- my sister's --profoundly changed my whole family. So, imagine the power of millions of stories, unleashed into the culture, fully heard and respected."