Sexual assault is a sensitive subject. It’s terrifying, it’s heartbreaking, and it means something different to most people. Talking about sexual assault is uncomfortable and confusing – you always feel like you’re saying the wrong thing, you never know what someone has been through, and it can easily ignite tears or arguments. Many of us avoid discussing it even though we know we should! On the one hand, we want to talk about it to raise awareness, but on the other hand, it can be so upsetting. This is why it’s so important when Hollywood produces something that confronts this uncomfortable topic. Movies about sexual assault are more important than you think. They show viewers the truth, they spark conversation, and they force us to accept it as a reality.
There are a lot of movies that bring up sexual assault, but not all do it in the right way. These do. Warning: these movies are pretty heavy and intense, but they all raise important issues that need to be talked about more. Every two minutes, somebody in America is sexually assaulted,and that is not okay. This issue needs to be addressed and people need to be held accountable for their actions, even though they so rarely are.These movies give good portrayals of what being assaulted can do to a person, and how we can help. Here are some important movies that bring up sexual assault that you need to see right now:
The Hunting GroundThis is a 2015 documentary that focuses on the rising issue of sexual assault on college campuses. It uses real-life stories from teens and young women who experienced assault on their campuses, and how their schools tried to silence them. These bad-ass women fought back against their administrations in effort to have their attackers punished. This movie is so important to watch so that you can see the real affect that sexual assault has on a person, especially if you are going or planning to go off to college. You can watch this movie on Amazon Video.
SpeakBased on the book of the same name, Speak is about a teen who gets assaulted the week before starting high school. She then stops speaking, and has to deal with the aftermath of her attack. She copes by befriending an art teacher who helps her channel her anger into art. This movie (and book) shows us how serious assault is, what it can really do to a person, and how it changes their day-to-day life and their personal relationships, especially in a high school setting. You can watch this on Hulu.
The Perks Of Being A WallflowerThis movie isn't explicitly about sexual assault, but one of the main characters was deeply affected by an assault that happened during their childhood. Overall, this is an amazing movie about dealing with love, loss and high school, while handling some pretty heavy issues at the same time. It's an important watch to see how trauma from an assault can last a person's entire life, even if they don't realize it. You can watch it on Amazon Video.
PreciousBased an a novel, Precious follows a young girl who gets repeatedly assaulted by her father, though her mother doesn't believe her. Despite all of the obstacles she faces, Precious meets with a social worker who helps her leave her abusive family and learn to read and write. This movie shows us that abuse and assault do not define a person, and that's important. You can watch this movie on Amazon Video.
TrustIn the age of internet dating and false online personas, this 2011 movie focuses on a teenage girl who starts dating a boy online, against her parent's wishes. After meeting up with her online boyfriend and getting attacked, she starts to realize that this boy is not who she thinks he is. The movie is intense, but it is an important look at young girls in online relationships with strangers who turn out to be dangerous, and the strain that can put on a person and their family. You can also stream this one on Amazon Video.
Boys Don't CryWhen discussing sexual assault, people often overlook the LGBTQU community. This movie is an important glimpse of what it's like to be a transgender teen who is raped and beaten by his peers. This is an important movie because it shows us that cisgender people are not the only ones who get assaulted. You can also watch this one on Amazon Video.
It Happened HereAnother documentary, this movie follows five college students who revisit the place where they were sexually assaulted. It also addresses the issue of rapists not being held accountable for their actions, and the topic of victim-blaming. It's a shame that there are so many movies about this topic, because it happens too often on college campuses, but this is an important one to watch in order to get insight on what it's really like to be an assault survivor when nobody believes your story. You can watch this documentary on Netflix.
what do you think of these movies? Which one did we miss? Tell us in the comments!