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K-State Today

October 16, 2015

K-State's screening of 'The Hunting Ground'

Submitted by Jenna Tripodi

The 2015 release of the documentary "The Hunting Ground" has brought increased focus on and scrutiny of the campus-based response to sexual violence.

Directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering, the documentary focuses on the testimonies of sexual assault survivors on college campuses and the responses, or lack thereof, from college administrators when these crimes have been reported. "The Hunting Ground" has been screened at hundreds of colleges across the nation since its release, as colleges work to raise awareness of the endemic nature of sexual violence within their communities.

On Sept. 17, the K-State Center for Advocacy Response and Education Office, or CARE, in collaboration with the Office of Greek Affairs and the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils, hosted a screening of the documentary for the K-State campus.

After the showing of the documentary, a question-and-answer session took place with a panelists Alaina Littlejohn, K-State's FIRE Organization president; Angela Hubler, women's studies interim department head; and Judy Davis, executive director of the Crisis Center Inc. The panel representatives each addressed questions from the audience from their respective experiences and perspectives. Below are the key points that were brought up during the discussion.

• If hearing stories of sexual assault and community response, such as the ones in the film, lead you to feeling a variety of emotions such as anger, sadness, helplessness, etc., that is normal. It is important to remember that you have a voice. These feelings can help connect individuals, and from there, take positive action.

• If someone close to you has experienced sexual assault and they do not want to report, it is important that you do not push them to report. One of the worst things you can do to a survivor is push them to make such a choice after they have had so much power stripped from them. Connecting survivors to supportive and safety resources at K-State and within the Manhattan community can be an empowering and helpful support option.

• As a friend or loved one of a survivor, you also have resources available to you if you experience any vicarious trauma or simply have questions about how you should proceed to provide support. These include the CARE office and the Crisis Center Inc.

• As of April 1, K-State was one of 106 colleges and universities under investigation by the Office for Civil Rights for possible violations of Title IX. The audience voiced a desire for more awareness and transparency regarding sexual violence and information regarding policies.

The CARE office extends thanks to all who participated in this screening and panel discussion. For more information on issues surrounding sexual violence within our community or to speak to a confidential advocate, individuals may call the CARE office at 785-532-6444 or email at ksucare@k-state.edu.