Today I’m going to move away from talking about books and writing to focus on a critically important topic that I hope you will all consider carefully. Tonight (November 22, 2015), CNN will broadcast a documentary entitled The Hunting Ground at 8PM EST. This is a must-watch documentary for all parents of college students, and all parents who anticipate launching their children into college in the next year or two. In fact, I would encourage every parent with high school juniors or seniors to carve time out of your busy schedules to watch this documentary with your kids. If you can’t watch it when it comes on, then plan to DVR it. I promise you won’t be sorry.
What’s so important about this story, you wonder? It examines the rape culture on college campuses, and it highlights the prevalent problem happening nationwide: the lack of response from universities and local law enforcement when victims come forward.
Make no mistake: Universities are big business and some will go to great lengths to protect that business from negative public opinion in order to continue receiving revenue from new students and other financial backers. Bad PR means a hit to revenue, so many universities have historically covered up and protected the perpetrators of rape, causing the victims to become victims a second time. The Hunting Ground exposes this coverup, empowering the victims to step forward and finally be heard!
If you think your son or daughter won’t be a victim, then I’d strongly encourage you to think again. It happens to our sons almost as frequently as it happens to our daughters, and it shows no preference among income, academic achievement or even the level of “high risk” behavior of the victim.
Though most universities are finally getting the message and have hired dedicated Title IX coordinators on campus to respond to the rape crisis and help advocate for the victims, some are more functional than others. This much change! All victims need a voice, and all victims should feel assured that their reports are responded to swiftly and to the fullest extent of the law without consideration for outside factors that may or may not affect the university standing or financial gain.
If you do nothing else to prepare your son or daughter for college, I would encourage you to watch this documentary.
Still not sure whether you should watch? See the official trailer below.
And please – if you share nothing else via social media – share this article! We must get the word out and stop silencing the voices of the victims! You can use the buttons below, or share on your other favorite social media platform.