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it happened here

"I admire these strong, beautiful and courageous women for coming forward and joining movements to end sexual assault and violence worldwide and on campus!"

"The more women that stand up and speak of their experience the closer we move to a society where women will have less to fear. Even though I do not live in the USA, nor do I have children, I truly appreciate everything that these brave women have done."

"This documentary helped me so much to know I have rights and there are things I can do to make sure the same thing not only does not happen to other girls but gives better resources to girls who have been blamed for the crimes they have suffered."


IT HAPPENED HERE, a compelling new documentary from director Lisa F. Jackson and producer Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen, explores sexual assault on campuses through the personal testimonials of five survivors who transform their experiences into a springboard for change.

In raw and intimate interviews, the students describe surviving sexual assault only to be met with apathy, disbelief, blame and retaliation from the authorities when they tried to report the crime. When they tried to get justice, they were ignored, belittled and shamed, while their attackers remained on campus with impunity. But instead of hiding away in shame, they chose to speak out, and found a way to force institutional change. 

 

our stories

Angie epifano 

Angie Epifano, a cross-country athlete and student scholar at Amherst College, was assaulted in a dorm her freshman year. For months Angie suffered in silence until a friend found her despondent and convinced her to get help. But when Angie went to school counselors she was met with disbelief and dismissal. They tried to convince her to 'forgive and forget” and sent her to the psychiatric ward. Like many survivors, Angie withdrew from school. Her assailant graduated with honors. In October 2012, when she saw things were not getting better for survivors on campus, Angie wrote a letter to the student newspaper detailing her experience and treatment after her assault. Her letterwent viral, crashing Amherst’s server (garnering over 1 million hits to date) and a movement of student survivors was born. 

Click here to read Angie's letter to The Amherst Student newspaper

kylie angell

A UConn nursing student, Kylie was sexually assaulted in her dorm by a friend. When she reported to campus police, Kylie was told “if women would stop spreading their legs like peanut butter rape wouldn’t keep happening.” Her assailant was expelled on 4 counts, but appealed and was allowed back on campus. Within an hour of his return, he broke his no contact order, stalked and harassed Kylie, and committed more sexual assaults. Kylie refused to remain silent and staged events such as Take Back the Night and Slutwalk, and testified in front of Conn. State Legislature to call attention to campus assault, and bring change to her school.  Represented by Gloria Allred, her case against UConn was settled in July 2014.

 Learn More about Kylie's current efforts to combat sexual violence.

Sarah o'brien

Vanderbilt University student athlete Sarah O’Brien was sexually assaulted by a trusted football player and friendwho escorted her home from a party. Sarah chose not to report for fear of harassment and retaliation, but after a year of silence and news of more assaults on campus, she chose to self identify as a survivor and came forth to take action against her school. Sarah mobilized other survivors and activists and staged events including Take Back the Night and The Clothesline Project where she presented a list of demands to Vanderbilt deans that have led to a revision of Vanderbilt’s policies. Through social media, Sarah reached out to Angie and Carolyn, and together they filed Clery and title lX complaints against their schools.  As a result, Vanderbilt is under investigation for Title lX violations. 

carolyn luby

When Carolyn wrote an open letter to UConn President Susan Herbst challenging the rape culture on campus and the aggressive imagery of the new Husky mascot, she never imagined the hostile blowback she would receive--hundreds of violent threats (“I hope you get raped by a husky”) and dozens of web sites slandered her. Undeterred, Carolyn remained outspoken –and unprotected - on campus, and lead the filings of a Clery Act Complaint, a Title IX complaint, and a Title IX lawsuit against UConn; which was settled in July ’14. Along with Kylie and Erica, she testified in front of Conn. State Legislature to advocate for legislative changes that hold universities accountable. Today she continues her activism with student groups and is devoted to bringing change to our schools.

Click here to read Carolyn Open Letter to UConn President Susan Herbst 

erica daniels

When UConn student Erica Daniels spent the evening with a trusted friend and co-worker, she knew immediately that her drink had been drugged. Her head felt heavy, she was sick and unable to defend herself. Erica just wanted to change her work schedule to avoid her assailant who began harassing her. Instead, she was forced to quit her job while her assailant was promoted. When Erica went to Community Standards she was told there would be no investigation because of a lack of evidence. Worried that her attacker is the worst kind of predator because he presents as friendly and harmless, Erica decided to take action. She joined the Clery, Title lX and civil suit against UConn and along with Kylie and Carolyn, Erica testified before Conn. State Legislature, which has lead lawmakers to draft new legislation to protect students.

directed by Lisa F. Jackson

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Lisa F. Jackson  Director-has been making documentary films for over 35 years.  Sex Crimes Unit, her most recent film, is an unprecedented verite portrait of prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo won a Special Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and earned 2 Emmy nominations.  She produced and directed Meeting with a Killer: One Family’s Journey (2001 Emmy Award nominee) for Court TV; The Secret Life of Barbie (1999 Emmy Award winner) for ABC News; Addicted and Why Am I Gay? for HBO’s “America Undercover” series;  Smart Sex for the MTV series “True Life”. She studied filmmaking at MIT with Rickey Leacock.

produced by marjorie schwartz nielsen

Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen-Producer-began her professional career at the Nickelodeon Network producing non-fiction television for teenagers, and has been working with and writing for young audiences ever since. After associate producing documentaries for WNET and KCET, she spent the next 20 years writing feature films and original made-for-cable movies, and was a nominee for a Humanitas Prize. Nielsen has worked with at-risk youth, starting with School on Wheels in Los Angeles missions and shelters, and created programs for Hollygrove Family Services, a non-residential facility for foster youth and Art Division, a non-profit art school providing free classes, literacy programs and resources for underserved youth in the Rampart district of Los Angeles.

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Executive Produced by john nielsen

JOHN NIELSEN- Executive Producer, is a three time Emmy nominee, and Emmy award winning editor and an A.C.E. award nominee for best film editing who has worked in television for over 25 years. John's contributions as an editor include work in a variety of genres including documentaries, comedies, music videos and dramas. A few of the projects John has edited include music videos for Rush, Journey, and Rod Stewart; the television comedies Family Ties, Night Court and Pee Wee's Playwhouse and the Emmy Award winning dramatic television movie, Kent State.

C0-PRODUCED BY JENNIFER OLLMAN

JENNIFER OLLMAN is a Primetime Emmy nominated documentary film and television producer based in New York City. She has worked with director Lisa F. Jackson on feature films including “The Greatest Silence” and “Sex Crimes Unit”, both for HBO. Her producing credits include “6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park” for Comedy Central and “How's Your News?” an alternative news show hosted by people with developmental disabilities that aired as a six episode series on MTV.

Music by Jeff Elmassian

Grammy­Award winner Jeff Elmassian is a composer, orchestrator, conductor and musician of uncommon skill and versatility. His award­winning music for commercials, feature films and television programming stretches across all genres and never fails to evoke strong senses of mood and atmosphere. An accomplished instrumentalist with extensive experience composing in the traditional mode, Elmassian also invokes the latest in technology to create electronic soundscapes that range from the post­industrial to the ethereal. 

the song enough performed by ruut

From northern Finland, Ruut discovered she could play piano and started writing original songs at age 7. When she was 12, she moved to Budapest with her missionary mother, and eventually to the States where she found her true voice as a writer and performer. The journey brought her to Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, where she worked with hit-makers Billy Steinberg, Mike Daly, Jeff Trott, Rob Hoffman, Heather Holley, and The Matrix. Ruut found legendary sound-engineer who Frank Wolf, who was able to capture raw, live piano-vocal performances of songs that Ruut had composed. This collection was later released and caught the attention of industry veterans Don Was, Ken Caillat and the late Greg Ladanyi, and delivered her back to Baltimore where she became a mother, and recorded a full-length studio album, “Glimpse”. Ruut has been called “a star” by NPR’s Kurt Andersen and has supported international acts, such as Passenger, Stu Larsen, Hem, Trevor Hall, Brett Dennen, Kat Edmonson, Slaid Cleaves and Sixpence None the Richer.  In 2014, Ruut signed a licensing deal with Mack Avenue, and started a YouTube Covers project that she will continue in 2015.

Edited by Bret Granato

Bret Granato has been a documentary film editor for over 15 years.  His projects include the 2014 ESPN 30 for 30 feature documentary Requiem for the Big East, the 2012 Primetime Emmy nominated special 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park for Comedy Central, "How's Your News?" • Election 2012 executive produced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and numerous PBS documentaries including Anyone and Everyone, and Over 90.

photography directed by P.H. O'brien

P.H. O'Brien has had a long career of shooting and producing documentary films and TV shows. Among P.H.'s many director-of-photography/producer credits are Steve James' (Hoop Dreams) Reel Paradise, Head Games and THE WAR TAPES (best documentary, Tribeca 2006).  He shot and produced Bad Voodoo’s War for Frontline on PBS, the MTV show How’s Your News? and Earth Made of Glass for HBO which was nominated for a producers guild award and winner of a 2012 Peabody Award.  His latest documentary Six Days to Air… the Making of South Park was nominated for an Emmy.


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where to watch

Screenings coming at these campuses