New film covers campus assault

“The Hunting Ground” enjoyed a wildly successful premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday. The new documentary covers sexual assault on college campuses by following a group of sexual assault survivors who describe the obstacles they faced while reporting their experiences to their administrations’ faculty.

The film, which Sundance describes as “a tour de force of verité footage, expert insights and first-person testimonies,” represents perhaps the most prominent media coverage of sexual assault on college campuses, where it’s estimated that one in every five women is sexually assaulted.

Awareness of this epidemic has gradually increased over the past year. Last September, President Barack Obama unveiled “It’s on Us,” a program dedicated to ending sexual assault on college campuses. Around this time, the topic became the focus of a national dialogue as more and more tragic stories came to light through the news media.

We commend the women who came forth to share their experiences with “The Hunting Ground,” and we hope that the documentary will spark further discussion about sexual assault, which unquestionably remains a serious problem on campuses across America.

At the same time, as documentaries are necessarily partisan films, we advise those who are moved by “The Hunting Ground” to seek further information from different sources. The film alone will not provide anyone with a complete understanding of the problems surrounding sexual assault on campus, nor will watching it be enough to “make a difference.” To tackle a multifaceted problem, we first need to understand its every aspect.