Films, Performances and Music On Sexual Assault and Rape


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Directory of research films you may find at your local library


Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault: Film & TV


Escaping Hades

A list of triggering films that have rape scenes included in them.


Video Resources About Rape

A list of films from


Directory of educational films on sexual abuse and assault

"This site provides information about sexual violence resources available both in Virginia and nationally. You may browse the resources or search our database."


Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues- Contains moving feminist perspectives on rape in war torn countries as well as our attitudes towards our own bodies. Many college campuses put on annual Theater presentations of this play during women's week in April. Available at most movie rental centers.


Speak- the movie or Book on tape

"The feature film debut of writer/director Jessica Sharzer, SPEAK is the tragicomic story of a smart, spirited high school freshman who has been stunned into silence by an unspeakable event – a date rape by an upperclassman. Based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Laurie Halse Anderson, SPEAK echoes its heroine's stubborn honesty and sardonic humor as it follows her journey from traumatized isolation to brave disclosure. Sharzer vividly renders a teenager's world, displaying a brightness and sensitivity that is perfectly matched to character and story. Unfolding over the course of the school year, SPEAK captures the absurdities and torments of high school, where speaking up can lead to trouble for students and teachers alike. But for the film's protagonist, expressing herself is the only way to confront a shattering experience, and thus cope with it."


NO! The Documentary

NO! unveils the reality of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American communities. What does it look like to visually make central that which has been placed on the margins and on the periphery?


Rape Is... or

Rape is...a documentary film which explores the meaning and consequences of rape. It is about "a human rights outrage that leaves millions of women, children and men in a state of terror and pain”. This film is just out and has great reviews. has great links and is an excellent supplement for research or presentations on rape crisis resources.

"Cambridge Documentary Films produced the documentary, "Rape is…," as one part of the global effort to stop rape in all of its complex forms...This discussion guide provides supplementary information and discussion resources for the Cambridge Documentary Films production, "Rape is..."

We believe that "Rape is..." is an effective tool for social change when used in conjunction with an organized post-viewing discussion. The film introduces important and controversial ideas and the discussion allows viewers to explore and make those ideas their own.."

Other titles from Cambridge:

Rape Culture - examines the relationship between our culture's
sexual fantasies and rape through film and other media.
The film defined "rape culture" for the first time.

Defending Our Lives (cc)-
*ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER for Best Documentary Short*
About the magnitude and severity of domestic violence in this country, the film features four women imprisoned for killing their batterers and their terrifying personal testimonies.

The Strength to Resist: The Media's Impact on Women and Girls (cc)- It documents the fight against the toxic and degrading messages to girls and women that dominate the media. It features the ideas of Gloria Steinem, Carol Gilligan, Gail Dines, Amy Richards, Valerie Batts, and Catherine Steiner-Adair.


Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise is a feminist manifesto writ large on the big screen, a smart and funny gender reversal of the standard Hollywood buddy formula, a road movie extraordinaire, with characters who became instant cultural icons. No matter how you define it, Ridley Scott's 1991 box-office hit pinched a nerve and made the cover of national news magazines for tweaking gender politics like no movie before or since. Callie Khouri's screenplay overhauls the buddy formula with its story about two best friends (Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis) who embark on a liberating adventure that turns into an interstate police chase after a traumatic incident makes both women into fugitives; they are en route to a destiny they could never have imagined. The perfect casting of Sarandon and Davis makes Thelma & Louise a movie for the ages, and Brad Pitt became an overnight star after his appearance as the con-artist cowboy who gives Davis a memorable (but costly) night in a roadside motel. editorial review by Jeff Shannon


Searching for Angela Shelton

"In “Searching for Angela Shelton,” filmmaker Angela Shelton journeys across the United States to meet other Angela Sheltons and through them survey women in America. What she wasn’t prepared for was to learn that like herself, 24 out of the 40 Angela Sheltons she spoke to had been raped, beaten or molested. The first Angela Shelton the filmmaker meets rents out space to a foster care company and it brings up the filmmaker’s memories of being in a foster home as a child. Then there is an Angela Shelton who tracks sexual predators and just happens to live in the same town as the filmmaker’s father who molested her and her stepsiblings for years."


Awful Normal

Our journey follows them from their first family conference where they decide to find him, through a revealing therapy session and many intimate conversations between sisters, revealing some of the affects the abuse has had on their lives. As they move both physically and emotionally closer to finding their perpetrator, they make some surprising discoveries.

A sure testament to the fragility and stamina of the human spirit, this film explores the ripple effects of a single action across generations and families, and puts these women literally face to face with their demons.


North Country - Speak Out

"What Josey Aimes wants is a decent job so she can put food on the table and take care of her kids. What she gets is threatened, insulted, ogled, fondled, belittled, attacked and called filthy names. "Take it like a man," her callous male boss says. Instead, she takes it like a human being - and fights back. Charlize Theron portrays Josey in North Country, the searing story of women who broke the gender barrier laboring in hazardous Minnesota iron mines... and broke legal ground with the nation's first class-action sexual-harassment lawsuit. Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson and Sean Bean star with Theron in this emotionally explosive tale of taking on the odds to achieve what everya range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit."


The Magdalene Sisters

This film is a good illustration of secondary victimization.

"Dickens updated. No, worse! Compared to life at the Magdalene Sisters convent-run sweatshops, Oliver Twist had it easy...And the reality—from the 1960s to the end of this past century, thousands of "fallen women" passed through the convent homes ...And their sexual misdeeds? Margaret (Duff) is raped by a cousin at a family wedding and makes the mistake of talking about it (her attacker, of course, gets off scott free). Bernadette (Noone), a free-spirited orphan, is deemed too attractive to boys (who merely flirt with her from afar). And Rose (Duffy) and the simple-minded Crispina (Walsh) have illegitimate babies which are forcibly taken from them and farmed out for adoption."


A Long Walk Home

A Long Walk Home: A Story of A Rape Survivor documents the journey from sexual assault victim to sexual assault survivor. This website gives information concerning the on stage performance of A Long Walk Home. It is a critically aclaimed dramatic peice concerning sexual assault and african american women. The peice is performed at major Universitys and deals with relevant view points on the subject.


My Mother's Face: A daughter's camera confronts suspect in rape

"In a last-ditch attempt to save her mother, she drops her life in 1993 and travels back with her camera to a razor-wired Johannesburg she instantly labels a "city of fear." What she discovers in the process is the unending trauma of rape, its capacity to unhinge a family, and its prevalence in the post-apartheid South Africa, where a new sexual offence's unit in Johannesburg would take on 1,800 unsolved cases and a woman is raped once every 26 seconds."


Stories No One Wants To Hear

Description: This award-winning experimental documentary combines interviews and poetic video art to explore the process of remembering childhood trauma. Three of the four women in this film were sexually abused by their mothers, the fourth by her brother. Each woman candidly explores her experience of remembering: questioning her childhood, recognizing disquieting patterns, facing emerging memories, understanding the trauma, and healing.


Rape By Any Name

Description: Weaves the stories of three acquaintance rape survivors together with the views, attitudes and biases both of professionals and of high school and college students.


The Healing Years

Description: This artfully produced documentary illustrates the poignant stories of incest survivors: former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur speaking out in the nation; Janice Mirikitani, President of Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco, helping inner-city women substance abusers healing from incest; and Barbara Hamiliton, a 79-year-old survivor ending three generations of incest in her family. For the sexually abusedchild, awareness and recovery are key to a secure and nourishing future.


Short Films


FEAR - multi-media documentary project

"Each FEAR Project story is a stand-alone 'chapter' intended as part of an overarching production for the editorial, educational, and advocacy markets. The themes are meant to help people think critically about how we live; sexual violence is pervasive and psychologically debilitating, the statistics show it, but the revelation is in the personal narrative. In these stories we can find our relationship to the violence and hopefully make sense of it" This is very moving, professionally done and effective. The format is video with audio voice-overs. The 'Portraits' promotional video would be very good for showing during class presentations as an overview.


RAINN public service announcements- "Lift Me Up"

This PSA is a hauntingly beautiful video accompanied by the song "Lift Me Up".

You can view the video at Road Less Travelled productions- see the tab work/commercials/RAINN

  • A longer version is available under 'films' from the main menu called 'unbroken'

Click on films and then click on 'unbroken'

Description: 9 minute film by Brad Furman

"Unbroken is haunting for an altogether different reason. This short film/PSA for the Rape Abuse Incest National Network concerns a young woman trying to hold herself together and confront her trauma after being sexually assaulted. Furman manages to strike an effective balance between beautiful, powerful images depicting a touchy subject without making it feel too 'slick' or music-videoesque. Information on how someone can report an assault is included." EInsiders

Unbroken is also available here.


Broken - Trailer for a film about a victim's advocate.


Domestic Violence


Volencia Domestica

Description: Focuses on domestic violence in lesbian relationships, including signs of an abusive relationship, and ways of getting help.


Breaking The Cycle Of Domestic Violence

Description: This program will help nurses, physicians, social workers and other healthcare workers to detect domestic violence and intervene to "break the cycle."


Male Assault victims

Surviving Sexual Abuse

Description: This 30-minute documentary features two young men speaking candidly about being sexually abused: Doug by his grandfather and Brian by a priest that was a family friend. Boys are less likely to report abuse because of the shame, fear and confusion they feel. The overall message to anyone that has been sexually abused is that they are not alone and that it is important to tell someone, and to keep telling until they find someone who believes them.



Description: A 27 minute documentary of five men discussing the impact of sexual abuse on men. Intended as an introduction into this difficult topic that can be used in therapy sessions, group discussions and training seminars.

Public service announcements (audio and video) on rape and sexual assault


Audio and Music

Cathartic songs for rape and sexual abuse survivors, II

You can listen to many of them.


Hymn to her by the Pretenders, Calling All Angels by Jane Siberry & k.d. Lang, Beautiful by Christina Aguilera, A Sorta Fairytale by Tori Amos, Damaged by Plumb, Beautiful Girl by Poe and more.

Individual survivor friendly songs: Broken sung by xXCourtXx,


Tori Amos thank you rainn

Tori Amos achieved fame in 1991 when her song 'Me and a gun' broke in the UK. The song included the story of her true life rape experience. Her first UK album was "Little Earthquakes" in 1992. (Fargo, 1992)

According to Wilson Web Biography Reference Bank:

"Amos helped launch RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, in 1994, shortly after she received a Visionary Award from the D.C. Rape Crisis Center for addressing the issue of sexual assault in her music. She also helped to establish a toll-free sex-abuse hotline" (Current Biography, 1998)

"In an effort to call attention to the non-profit organization she co-founded, RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), Tori Amos requested that 2,000 radio stations in the country play her poignant ballad "Silent All These Years," and run a public service announcement simultaneously at noon on May 16th. RAINN operates America's only national hotline for sexual assault victims." ROCKRGRL Magazine Aug 31, 1997 from the Gender Watch database.

She is also the inspiration for many rape survivor websites and online support groups.

About the music:

"The song "Me and a Gun" from the album Little Earthquakes is inspired by a real event in Tori's life, an event refered to as a rape in some interviews, and a sexual assault in others."* |Quotes|Quotes on rape| Inspiration to survivors|Biography|Everything Tori|Piece by piece- biography|Music|MusicII|

Education: Student, Peabody Conservatory

Creative Works / Albums: Y Kant Tori Read, 1988, Little Earthquakes, 1992, Under the Pink, 1994 (Grammy nomination, Best Alternative Music Performance, 1995), Boys for Pele, 1996, From the Choirgirl Hotel, 1998, To Venus and Back, 1999, Strange Little Girls, 2001, Scarlet's Walk, 2002, Tales of a Librarian: Tori Amos Collection, 2003, The Beekeeper, 2005, A Piano: The Collection, 2006; author: (with Ann Powers) Tori Amos: Piece By Piece,

Amos, T., et. al., Tori Amos, piece by piece: a portrait of the artist : her thoughts, her conversations. 1st ed. Broadway Books, 2005. 350 p.
Booklist v. 101 no. 12 (Feb. 15 2005).

Marquis Who's Who on the Web. (2006). Tori Amos. Retrieved Dec. 22,
2006, from

Fargo, D. (1992). Tori Amos. In C. Larkin (Ed.), The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (pp. 79-80). : Guinness Publishing Vol. 1.

Voices of Strength

"Survivor and Founder Haullie Free takes 15 courageous Survivors of Rape, Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence on a journey toward personal enlightenment and self validation, through the power of the human VOICE."


Surviving the Truth

'Surviving The Truth' is an audio Documentary for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence. As well as related projects to help raise awareness. It is a Testament to the Spirit of Survivors from all around the world.


No Secrets: A Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Womens Rape Crisis Center

"An intensely heart-felt compilation representing Vermont's music community gathered in support of the Women's Rape Crisis Center."


Songs Related to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault...and Survival

An annotated list of recorded sources, from traditional ballads to punk.


Indigo Girls 101, Latest CD


Every six minutes (song also available here.)

While not exactly a PSA- This is an audio clip of a very powerful song from the film "Prey for Rock and Roll". Although the film itself is very graphic- this song (and the film portion of the performance) is very moving. You will hear these lyrics:

Every 6 minutes
Someone says "no"
Every 6 minutes
She gets ignored
It's not what you're wearing
Its not where you've been
The fact that they think so
Tells you somethin' bout sin"

Statistics to discuss




Resources to research this subject:

Journals and articles

Search the NCJRS Abstracts Database

Google scholar or Findarticles

Finding books at the library

Online Libraries on sexual assault

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Search terms: rape crisis

Related links: Victim blame


Macdonalds, J. (2004). World Book Encyclopedia. United States of America: World Book Inc.

rape. (2006). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 2, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.

Smith, M. D. (2004). Encyclopedia of Rape. USA: Greenwood Press.

Sedney, M., "rape (crime)." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 <> (February 1, 2006).



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