This Film is About Rape - Excerpt

Documentary directed by Bonnie Krepps, 1979

This excerpt shows Anita Roberts teaching women self defense.

Origin: Canada, Language: English, 30 minutes.
Director Bonnie Kreps, Editor Haida Paul.

Annotation: This film presents interviews with a rape victim and several rapists, statistics on rape in Canada, and assertiveness training, self-defense techniques, and other rape prevention measures. It also addresses the psychological effects of rape on victims.

Abstract: It opens with the account by an elderly rape victim of an attempted rape; the woman recalls her attempts to escape, her feelings at the moment, and her reactions to her daughter's rape 20 years' earlier. The film notes that all women are potential rape victims; the oldest victim known was a 93 year-old woman and the youngest was an infant. A woman is raped every 17 minutes in Canada, and more than half of those who report the crime are injured. Nearly one out of every four victims is a young girl still living with her parents. More than half of the rapists are married, and few go to trial; of those who are sent to prison, most are repeat offenders. Several rapists who are interviewed mention that their selection of a particular woman to rape was not based on attractiveness or age but on convenience; the victim's screaming or fighting would repel some rapists but not others. Rapists appear to be acting out society's sex role expectations to the extreme; they seem to need to reinforce their masculinity through rape. Hitchhiking increases the opportunity for rape, as does pursuing a profession that requires working odd hours or traveling alone as in the case of stewardesses and nurses. To better protect themselves against rape, women are organizing assertiveness training and self-defense groups; some of their techniques are depicted in the film. Women are also organizing to counsel victims suffering from the rape trauma syndrome, which is characterized by the victim's feelings of guilt and self-blame. A rape prevention resource manual is included.

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