Since early October, the words “me too” have spread virally across various social media platforms, industries and people groups, carrying with them a movement to end sexual abuse and harassment, once and for all.
On Wednesday, Jan. 31, Lipscomb University will host an exclusive, free screening of a film that sheds lights on a parallel issue: the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States. The HBO documentary “I Am Evidence,” brings attention to the disturbing pattern of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault survivors.
Presented by the Lipscomb University HumanDocs Film Series, the Joyful Heart Foundation, Nashville’s Sexual Assault Center, YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee and AWAKEtn, the screening will begin at 6 p.m. in Shamblin Theatre, and is free and open to the public.
“I Am Evidence” tells the story of four survivors whose rape kits went untested for years, following them as they navigate their way through the criminal justice system and learn that so often, the system is broken. The film reveals how we have historically treated the crime of sexual assault in this country, and the positive effects that occur when perpetrators are held accountable and survivors are given an opportunity for healing and justice. “I Am Evidence” has won the audience award for Best Documentary Film at both the Provincetown and Traverse City Film Festivals.
Produced by Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor, director, producer and Joyful Heart Foundation Founder & President Mariska Hargitay, “I Am Evidence” will be followed by a panel discussion featuring local, regional and national experts discussing the backlog of rape kits in Tennessee and across the country, and what’s being done to address it.
Ted Parks, associate professor of foreign languages and co-curator of Lipscomb’s HumanDocs Film Series, says the screening of this film is very timely and important for our current social climate.
“HumanDocs is a film series that screens festival quality documentaries that explore vital issues of social justice, and right now, we are seeing issues of abuse and violence come into the light through the #MeToo movement,” said Parks. “This film helps raise awareness about other injustices surrounding abuse that should also be brought into the light. We hope the community will join us for this exclusive screening of this important HBO documentary.”
Now in its ninth year, HumanDocs screens a series of social-justice documentaries at Lipscomb University. The series emerged from the desire of the university's College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to develop students personally, encourage lifelong learning and inspire service in a changing world.
The HumanDocs Film Series is presented in partnership with the Lipscomb Honors College and the Nashville Film Festival. All screenings are free and open to the public. For more information on this event, contact Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615.966.6616.