Civic Groups to Host Screening of “The Hunting Ground” at East Hampton Library

The Hunting Ground
The Hunting Ground

Several South Fork human services agencies will sponsor the screening of the 45-minute, high school edition of “The Hunting Ground” on March 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the East Hampton Library.

A discussion will follow led by a panel of professionals from The Retreat, Family Service League, East Hampton Town Police Department and the Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit, NY State Police.

The Hunting Ground is a critically acclaimed documentary that shines a light on sexual assault on college campuses. It features interviews with students, parents, faculty, police, and administrators, as well as a rock ballad by Lady Gaga, “Til It Happens to You”.

The film points out that in college, 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted. Most often it happens in the freshman or sophomore year. In addition, 5 perecent of college men say they are survivors of sexual assault.

While this topic may make us uncomfortable, the alternative can be devastating. Given that the Class of 2017 will be headed off to college in a few short months, it is our desire to help our young people gain a clearer understanding of this very sensitive issue. Screening The Hunting Ground will give us an opportunity to begin a meaningful and substantive conversation with our sons and daughters about:

• Recognizing and understanding the prevalence of sexual assault in teenage communities and on college campuses

• Recognizing the importance of consent

• Understanding the relationship between alcohol/drug use and sexual assault

• Understanding how to take preventative measures to stay safe

• Inspiring bystander intervention should a student witness a potential sexual assault

The film and subsequent discussion is geared towards high school students 15 years and older, parents of high school students, parents of middle school students, and educators. EHHS students who attend the screening will receive two hours community service from The Retreat.

A panel discussion will follow the screening and will be led by:

• Helen Atkins-Barnes, Education Director, The Retreat

• Kim Auguste, Senior Investigator, Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit, NY State Police

• Loretta Davis, Executive Director, The Retreat

• Aimee Geehreng, LCSW, Family Service League

• Amanda Mintz, Founder, In My Shoes

• Chief of Police Michael Sarlo, East Hampton Town Police Department

• Howard Treadwell-Smith, Suffolk County Fatherhood Initiative, The Retreat

“Sexual assault is a national issue that seriously threatens our young people’s safety and well-being. Through the viewing of this film, our community will gain a clearer understanding of sexual assault, its impact on our young people and how we can empower them to stay safe and make smart choices,” stated Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. “When we held the screening last year, more than a hundred young people and their parents joined the discussion. Ideally, we will have as robust a discussion on March 27.”

For more information, community members can contact the East Hampton Department of Human Services at 631.329.6939. To register for the event, contact the East Hampton Library at 631.324.0222 Ext. 3.

This event is sponsored by the Town of East Hampton Department of Human Services and the East Hampton Library in conjunction with The Retreat, Family Service League, East Hampton High School, In My Shoes, iTri, The Neo-Political Cowgirls, East Hampton Town Police Department, and New York State Police.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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