Viacom-owned UK broadcaster Channel 5 is set to launch a documentary about rape that it hopes will encourage victims to “find the courage to break their silence.”
The timely documentary, Raped: My Story, comes as stories of rape and sexual harassment are in the headlines following allegations against a slew of U.S and international entertainment figures including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Ed Westwick.
The feature-length doc, which is produced by Brighton-based producer Lambent Productions, which previously produced The Special Needs Hotel, will feature first person interviews on the experience of being raped. It will look at what happens during the trauma of a rape, the damaging aftermath of the event, and how women and men are treated by the criminal justice system when they do report. The producers have encouraged ten survivors – nine women and one man – to speak out on camera.
C5 Factual Commissioning Editor Guy Davies told Deadline: “It was clear that the hope was that other women and men will come forward to report, and have the courage to break their silence. Also, some of the women wanted to show how reporting and confronting their situation had helped them psychologically to come to terms with what had happened to them and the fear that there may be many other people out there who are living with this secret in the lives.”
Catey Sexton, who directed the 90-minute film and previously worked on Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, spent many weeks finding and meeting contributors and working with support groups and other agencies including the Survivors Trust and National Police Chiefs Council Rape Working Group.
Davies added: “As the law protects identity in rape cases, our contributors had to either waive their anonymity, or, if they had not reported the incident talk about traumatic events they had never spoken about before. Giving the contributors the time, space and support to speak out was key to the process of making the film.”
The team hopes that Raped: My Story will provide “increasing awareness of the issues involved so other people affected feel they are not alone and can come through it.”
Survivors Trust Chief Executive Fay Maxted added: “Raped: My Story is a very powerful, important documentary and the courage of everyone really shines through. It couldn’t be more timely; this is a film that everyone should watch in order to understand how victims feel. Not only does it provide extraordinary insight, its empowering testimony is exactly what’s needed to demonstrate that there is life after rape.”
The film will air in the UK on November 22 and will be followed by a live event #MeToo: The Debate, produced by ITN Productions.
Raped: My Story will also likely air internationally with Passion Distribution selling the doc around the world after striking a first-look distribution deal with Lambent Productions.