A Documentary by Alyse McCamish & Tom Forrister
A disturbing expose of sexual assault in UK universities and rape culture’s broader impact on British society.
This deep-dive into universities' mishandlings of sexual abuse takes a look at what’s been swept under the rug for too long — an issue that is now coming to light all across the country as students are raising their voices and refusing to stay silent. This conversation is more timely and more crucial than ever, and this documentary intends to go beyond just starting the conversation and aims to propel a real change in the UK.
A writer/director based in LA and the founder of Dumb Blonde Productions. From its roots in her own personal experience of sexual assault at a prestigious UK drama school, Alyse left school without the degree she intended, but with a burning passion for women’s rights. Using her case as a megaphone to highlight a corrupt system, she’s pursuing her own legal battle against her university that has caused international commotion. With a mother who was a journalist/news anchor for 20+ years, as well as an Emmy-winning documentarian, and a father who has also had a career in the field, this is in her blood and she is beyond excited to branch into the world of documentary filmmaking in hopes of enacting real change.
Somerset-born cinematographer Tom Forrister started his filmmaking career in corporate, making a move into narrative filmmaking and commercials. Only recently branching out into documentaries, Tom's attention to detail paired with his focus, understanding of story, as well his own personal connection to the subject and close working relationship with Alyse make him not only the perfect cinematographer to capture the tone of the film, but also the right producing partner for the job.
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CHARITIES & ExpertS Involved
END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
RAPE CRISIS CENTER ENGLAND & WALES
I AM ARLA
THE 1752 GROUP
ST. ANDREWS SURVIVORS
REVOLT SEXUAL ASSAULT
20% of women and 4% of men have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16 ― that’s 3.4 million female and 631,000 male victims
Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men experience rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales every year; that's roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offenses happening every hour
Approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offense
A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped
Less than 20% of rapes are reported, with 2020’s reported rapes increasing to a whooping 55,130 cases
While rapes accusations rise, prosecutions have more than halved to just 2,102 prosecutions and, of that, only 1,439 convictions
Only 1.7% of reported rapes end in prosecution, a 75% decrease from 3.8% in 2018
“The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power.”
— Wael Ghonim
AN OPEN LETTER TO SURVIVORS
I would like to begin by expressing my deepest sympathy for what you’ve been through. I am in awe of your perseverance, resilience, and if you have spoken out or even thought about speaking out, I'm sorry that you've been faced with a system that is certainly not built on justice.
My experience is probably the same as many of yours, statistically speaking: I was assaulted in the first week of university by a classmate. When I came forward months later, the university’s handling of my allegation was more traumatizing than the assault itself. You can read more about my story here.
It opened my eyes. There seemed to be a never-ending cycle of news report after news report reiterating the exact same story from women all over the country. Seeing the enormous scale of this problem, I began to feel frustrated, angry, crazy, but mostly shocked that universities had been getting away with sweeping these allegations under the rug, held accountable only when facing the court of public opinion.
This is an anger I’m sure you’ve felt. “That’s just the way the world works” is not something that any of us could, or should, accept.
That’s why I’m making a documentary exposing sexual abuse in UK universities.
To stop universities from silencing survivors any longer. To stop them from getting away with taking the side of perpetrators and failing at their duty of care to the victims. To stop universities from paying lip service to the media and making empty promises of a change that never comes.
This documentary aims to bring our voices together to create effective change in holding universities accountable in doing right by survivors, being transparent in their recordings of sexual misconduct, and having policies and procedures in place to create a safe environment for all their students.
Thus far, this documentary has been a big part of my own healing process, as well as a positive experience for everyone involved. It’s been a coming together of so many like- minded individuals who have been experiencing the same frustrations, dedicating their lives to changing the system and stigmas, and working to make the world a better place for survivors. It has been a bright light, a glimmer of hope, at the end of a dark tunnel.
We are all working towards a common goal: to bring about a more just world for survivors of sexual assault.
In order to have the largest impact and show the true scale of this problem, we are looking for survivors who are willing to share their story.
That’s why I’m writing to you: I’d love for your story to be shared in this documentary. My highest priority is for this to be a positive experience, which means making you feel as comfortable as possible and in control throughout the entire process.
This is your story. You deserve for it to be told your way. I promise you will be treated with the same respect and sensitivity that I would expect in your position — and I can make that promise because I have been there.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns, and I’d love to just start a conversation with you when you feel ready.
Feel free to email me day or night at email@example.com
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
With sincere gratitude,
We hope you will consider sharing your story with us
© 2021 Safe Space Documentary