ACTion is hosting a screening of The Hunting Ground followed by a facilitated discussion from 6-8pm on April 5 in the Black Box Theatre at Lehman Alternative Community School in Ithaca.
“April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and we thought that showing a documentary that dealt with the issues of sexual assault would be a good way to kick off the month,” ACTion member and IHS junior Leah Wardlaw. “ACTion chose to screen this documentary because Title IX affects students from kindergarten to 12th grade, as well as college and beyond. Our group is made up of youth activists, and “The Hunting Ground” tells the story of students becoming activists after experiencing trauma and a lack of justice. We want to raise awareness among students, administrators, and people in the community about Title IX to encourage our community to respond in a more just and survivor-focused way.”
The Advocacy Center’s Youth Educator Lyn Staack added, “The topics this documentary raised are important for all high school students and their families not only those comparing colleges. Audience members will leave with specific safety items to consider when making life decisions such as selecting or registering for college, but also when interviewing for jobs, or moving to a new state. We will also have resource lists and handouts on how to help teens and young adults after sexual assaults, ways to prevent sexual assaults and harassment, and information on how to have conversations about healthy sexuality and sexual consent for parents and family members.”
“The Hunting Ground” centers on sexual assault on college campuses: the harrowing narratives of survivors, how campuses have responded — and failed in their responses — to sexual assault, and how students created a national movement to fight for justice for survivors and an end to sexual violence on college campuses. While some aspects of this documentary are specific to university and college campuses, many of the cultural attitudes and behaviors are learned before students leave for college. The skills needed to prevent, respond or recover from sexual assaults can be learned by young adults and teens as well.
According to Leah, ACTion is “planning a panel made up of student activists from Ithaca College and Advocacy Center staff. We are hoping that people will learn more about Title IX as well as be more prepared to respond in a more trauma-informed way when sexual harassment or assault happens in our community.”
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