TIME Military

Army Launches Review Into Whether ROTC Cadets Were Forced to Wear Heels

For a sexual assault awareness event

The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that ROTC cadets on college campuses were told to wear high heels to an event marking Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

The review by the U.S Army Cadet Command comes after an anonymous poster on Reddit claimed that ROTC cadets at Arizona State University would have faced disciplinary action if they didn’t attend an event on Monday called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” during which students donned red high heels to “stomp out” sexual assault on campuses. The post quickly garnered attention online and pointed critics of the alleged policy to other ROTC campus units that held similar events.

In a statement shared with TIME, the U.S. Army Cadet Command said they did not direct the ROTC units on exactly how the cadets should participate in the sexual assault awareness events.

“After receiving some comments about uniforms, we are currently gathering facts in order to review how local ROTC units implemented their participation in these events designed to raise awareness on the issue of sexual assault,” the statement said.

A video posted by ASU’s student nhttps://vimeo.com/125515628ewspaper shows the event at the Phoenix university. Maj. Michelle Bravo, a military science professor at Arizona State, says in the video that the cadets “planned and decided” to host the walk, where they mostly wore khakis and polo shirts with their heels.

The Temple University ROTC hosted a similar event earlier this month, and cadets there wore their uniforms with heels as they walked.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command also noted units could have participated in other events including “JROTC/ROTC 5K Run/Walk,” which doesn’t explicitly mention wearing high heels.

TIME Sexual Assault

Rolling Stone Apologizes, Retracts Discredited Rape Story

(RICHMOND, Va.) — A Rolling Stone magazine article about an alleged rape on the University of Virginia campus was a “story of journalistic failure that was avoidable,” the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said in a report published Sunday night.

“The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking,” said the report, which was posted on the journalism school’s and magazine’s websites.

Rolling Stone Managing Editor Will Dana posted an apology on the publication’s website and said the magazine was officially retracting the story.

“We would like to apologize to our readers and to all of those who were damaged by our story and the ensuing fallout,” Dana wrote.

The article’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, did not answer a telephone call from The Associated Press.

Rolling Stone had asked for the independent review after numerous news media outlets found flaws with the November 2014 story titled “A Rape on Campus.”

The article focused on a student identified only as “Jackie” who said she was raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house more than two years earlier.

It also described a hidden culture of sexual violence fueled by binge drinking at one of the nation’s most highly regarded public universities. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said at a March 23 news conference that his investigators, who received no cooperation from Jackie, found no evidence to support either.

The article prompted protests on the Charlottesville campus, but the story quickly began to unravel. Other news organizations learned that Erdely had agreed not to contact the accused men. Three of Jackie’s friends denied the writer’s assertion that they discouraged the alleged victim from reporting the assault, and the man described as the person who led her to an upstairs room in the fraternity house to be raped could not be located.

By Dec. 5, Rolling Stone acknowledged that “there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account.”

Dana and Erdely have said they had been too accommodating of requests from “Jackie” that limited their ability to report the story because she said she was a rape victim and asked them not to contact others to corroborate, the report said.

However, Columbia’s report said, Rolling Stone also failed to investigate reporting leads even when “Jackie” had not specifically asked them not to.

“The editors made judgments about attribution, fact-checking and verification that greatly increased their risks of error but had little or nothing to do with protecting Jackie’s position,” it said.

The report said Rolling Stone‘s article may cast doubt on future accusations of rape. It also damaged the reputation of the Phi Kappa Psi chapter at U.Va. and depicted the university administration as neglectful.

It also concluded that while Rolling Stone‘s editorial staff has shrunk by 25 percent since 2008, the problem was not a lack of resources.

“The problem was methodology, compounded by an environment where several journalists with decades of collective experience failed to surface and debate problems about their reporting or to heed the questions they did receive from a fact-checking colleague,” it said.

The fraternity has called the article defamatory and said it was exploring its legal options.

“These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must have dealt to survivors of sexual assault,” said Stephen Scipione, president of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, after the Charlottesville police suspended their investigation.

In his apology, Dana said that magazine officials are “committing ourselves to a series of recommendations about journalistic practices that are spelled out in the report.”

Despite its flaws, the article heightened scrutiny of campus sexual assaults amid a campaign by President Barack Obama. The University of Virginia had already been on the Department of Education’s list of 55 colleges under investigation for their handling of sex assault violations.

The article also prompted U.Va. President Teresa Sullivan to temporarily suspend Greek social events. Fraternities later agreed to ban kegs, hire security workers and keep at least three fraternity members sober at each event.

TIME Education

Watch Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s Video on Ending Sexual Assault

Fraternity member describes what constitutes consent

The fraternity Pi Kappa Phi released a video Thursday pledging support to the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign to stop sexual assault.

In the video, different men relay definitions of what does, and does not, constitute consent. Some examples of consent they give are setting boundaries, open communication and “asking and hearing a yes.” Consent is not given, they say, if the partner is passed out, drunk, coerced or silent.

Pi Kappa Phi has been in national headlines recently when its North Carolina State University chapter was suspended for a book filled with racist and sexist comments written by the fraternity brothers.

“It’s On Us” was launched by the White House in September 2014. The first video for the campaign contained celebrity appearances by Jon Hamm and Kerry Washington; President Obama then made his own clip that was broadcast during the Grammy Awards in February.

 

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: April 2

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. McDonald’s is raising wages for 90,000 employees. That’s a good start, and a strong message to other fast food outlets.

By Shan Li and Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times

2. “It must be right:” The human instinct to trust the authority of machines can be dangerous when life is on the line.

By Bob Wachter in Backchannel

3. As college acceptance letters roll in, women should ask about sexual assault prevention on campus.

By Veena Trehan at Nation of Change

4. When corporate values clash with policy in conservative states, big business has a powerful veto tool.

By Eric Garland in Medium

5. Amazon’s Dash button isn’t a hoax. It’s a step toward a true “Internet of Things.”

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles in the Wall Street Journal

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME indonesia

Canadian Teacher in Indonesia Found Guilty in Contentious Child-Rape Trial

Indonesia Child Abuse Charges
Dita Alangkara—AP Canadian school administrator Neil Bantleman sits inside a holding cell prior to the start of his trial in Jakarta on March 12, 2015

Critics say the trial was a sham aimed at closing the school

A Canadian teacher at a prestigious international school in Indonesia was found guilty of sexual assault on Thursday, following a four-month trial that ignited both accusations of judicial malfeasance and anti-Western sentiments in the Southeast Asian nation.

Canadian school administrator Neil Bantleman from Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), formerly called Jakarta International School, faces 10 years behind bars for repeatedly raping three kindergarten-aged male students.

In the absence of physical evidence, the prosecutors largely built their case around testimony provided by the victims. However, the defendant’s legal team argue that young children were effectively forced to identify Bantleman and Indonesian teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjiong as the culprits.

Prior to the pair’s arrests last summer, five of the school’s janitors were also found guilty of molesting one of the three pupils at JIS and were handed prison sentences ranging from seven to eight years in length. The group had initially admitted the charges, but later recanted and accused officials of beating them into a confession in detention. A sixth janitor tied to the incident died in custody after an apparent suicide.

Following the decision to arrest Bantleman and Tjiong, the U.S. embassy in Indonesia warned that allegations of the torture and shoddy legal work could further undermine the country’s standing. The JIS cases comes amid an international outcry over the pending execution of a group of drug traffickers, including the so-called Bali Nine duo, despite sustained pleas for clemency.

“The international community here, foreign investors, and foreign governments are all following this case and the case involving the JIS teachers very closely,” said U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. “The outcome of these cases and what it reveals about the rule of law in Indonesia will have a significant impact on Indonesia’s reputation abroad.”

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono said accusations that the janitors were tortured while in custody should have been considered at greater length by the judiciary before allowing the case against Bantleman and Tjiong to commence. In addition, the defense cited significant inconsistencies with the victims’ testimony.

“It should be enough for the judges to be dismissive of the prosecution,” Harsono tells TIME. “It is another black mark for the South Jakarta court’s reputation.” In a widely criticized verdict in February, a judge at the South Jakarta court ruled that the Corruption Eradication Commission had no legal basis to name the President’s nominee for police chief as a graft suspect.

Critics of the JIS trial have also contended that the case is nothing more than a thinly disguised ploy to shut down the school’s historic campus that resides on some of the sprawling Indonesian capital’s most valuable real estate.

“The judges must consider a $125 million lawsuit filed by the mother of one of the boys as motive for dragging the teachers into this criminal case,” the defendants’ legal team said in a statement, according to the Jakarta Post.

Officials from the country’s Indonesian Children’s Protection Commission had already accused the school’s administrators of fostering an environment that led to the rapes.

During a press conference last year, the head of the commission accused JIS of impropriety by tolerating kissing in public and employing gay teachers. Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, the commission’s chairman, later added that “homosexuality in such environment could trigger sexual violence against children.”

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME Crime

Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Twitter Abuse and Rape

"The Divergent Series: Insurgent" New York Premiere
Tyler Boye—Getty Images Actress Ashley Judd attends the "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on March 16, 2015 in New York City. (Tyler Boye--Getty Images)

"It was time to call the police, and to say to the Twittersphere, no more."

Actress Ashley Judd wrote an impassioned op-ed for Mic Thursday about the link between online harassment and physical abuse. After she endured hateful online vitriol for a seemingly harmless tweet about basketball, she saw a connection between that Twitter harassment and the cultural misogyny that she believes fueled her experiences with rape and incest early in life.

While watching a basketball game Sunday, Judd tweeted that the opposing team was “playing dirty & can kiss my team’s free throw making a—.” She later got so much hatred and so many sexually violent threats on Twitter that she had to delete the original tweet. She wrote:

What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I’ll describe specifically what happened to me.

I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my “grandmother is creepy.”

Soon, Judd realized that the hatred she was experiencing was related to the violence and abuse she had endured as a girl.

The themes are predictable: I brought it on myself. I deserved it. I’m whiny. I’m no fun. I can’t take a joke. There are more serious issues in the world. The Internet space isn’t real, and doesn’t deserve validity and attention as a place where people are abused and suffer. Grow thicker skin, sweetheart. I’m famous. It’s part of my job description.

The themes embedded in this particular incident reflect the universal ways we talk about girls and women. When they are violated, we ask, why was she wearing that? What was she doing in that neighborhood? What time was it? Had she been drinking?

Judd, who in addition to her acting career has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and even has a degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, describes the rape and incest she experienced in her childhood, and recounts how her therapy allowed her to finally come to terms with an attempted oral rape that she also survived. But then, thanks to a single tweet about basketball, she was barraged with violent sexual threats online.

I felt like I had the chance to finally speak, fight and grieve, and be consoled and comforted. But then, on literally the very next day, I received a disturbing tweet with a close-up photograph of my face behind text that read, “I can’t wait to c-m all over your face and in your mouth.”

The timing was canny, and I knew it was a crime. It was time to call the police, and to say to the Twittersphere, no more.

The full essay is worth a read, and you can check it out here.

Read next: Colleges Need to Think Bigger To End Campus Rape

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Crime

14 Los Angeles High Schoolers Suspected of Sex Crimes

Police officers walk in front of Venice High School where they are investigating allegations of sexual assault in Los Angeles
Jonathan Alcorn—Reuters Police officers walk in front of Venice High School, where they are investigating allegations of sexual assaults centered on students, in Los Angeles, March 13, 2015.

About 10 have been arrested

Los Angeles police made several arrests at an area high school Friday as part of an investigation into 14 high school boys accused of sex crimes.

The crimes–involving two underage victims—allegedly began over a year ago, police say many of the incidents occurred in the last two months, with several of the accused boys present. The police have also discovered photos of the sex acts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Authorities were made aware of the incidents on Tuesday. The boys were not identified since they are minors between the ages of 14 and 17. The police arrested nine of the boys from Venice High School on Friday morning and a 10th turned himself in. There are still four more wanted in connection to the crimes.

The crimes are sexual assault and lewd acts with a minor, the Times reports. They involve a group of high school boys allegedly working together to pressure girls into having sex with them through a variety of threats.

The events allegedly occurred both on and off campus.

TIME Sexual Assault

This Documentary’s False Equivalence on Rape Won’t Help Indian Women

British filmmaker Udwin poses for a picture after addressing a news conference in New Delhi
Anindito Mukherjee—Reuters British filmmaker Leslee Udwin poses for a picture after addressing a news conference in New Delhi, India on March 3, 2015.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

The filmmaker's 'enlightened' attitude might ultimately be as harmful as the ban on her film.

The Indian government last week banned India’s Daughter, a BBC documentary about the brutal gang rape and death of a medical student in New Delhi two years ago, condemning it as an “international conspiracy to defame India.” In truth, if there is something to criticize about the documentary, it is that it trucks in politically correct pieties about rape being a global problem that soft peddle the special violence that women in India and other traditional societies confront.

The most controversial aspect of the documentary by British director Leslee Udwin involves interviews with Mukesh Singh, one of the convicted rapists (who has appealed his death sentence to India’s Supreme Court) and his defense lawyers. Without a hint of remorse, a soft-spoken Singh, calmly tells Udwin that a woman is more responsible for rape than a man. Decent girls — 20% of the population, in his estimation — dress modestly and don’t stay out until 9 p.m. like Jyoti did. Furthermore, she should not have resisted the rape because then his pals (he insists he only drove the bus while they raped her and violated her with an iron rod) would not have been so brutal.

But even worse than these statements by Singh — a poor, uneducated man who lived in a slum of rural migrants steeped in backward mores (much of which Udwin does a great job of drawing out) — were the comments of his educated, city-dwelling lawyers. One of them asserted that he would have no compunctions about dousing his sister or daughter with petrol and burning her in front of his entire family if she engaged in pre-marital activities.

The first step in curing such retrograde views is exposing them, which is why, if anything, Udwin deserves a Bharat Ratnam, the country’s highest civilian honor. Instead, the Indian government has launched a jihad against the film on the absurd grounds that its trying to malign India’s image abroad and hurt tourism — as if the bigger threat to tourism is not rape itself, especially against female tourists, but talk of rape.

The ban prompted NDTV, India’s largest TV channel, to mount a protest black out of all programming for an hour on Sunday, International Women’s Day, when the film was supposed to be aired. BBC, which had originally planned to show the film on the same day, aired it four days early to beat a restraining order. YouTube and other large websites have also been forced to take down the film in India, but it remains easily available on numerous personal websites, making a mockery of the government’s promise to implement a global ban.

Udwin is pleading with the government to call off its foolish campaign. She insists that her motive was to understand the mind of a rapist to highlight a global problem – not to single out India, a country she says she loves dearly and wanted to “put on a pedestal.” Why? Because rape exists everywhere, she maintains, but India alone arose in spontaneous mass protest against Jyoti’s rape, deeply moving Udwin, herself a rape victim.

Such sentiments sound good, but the truth is that if other advanced countries haven’t experienced anti-rape mass protests, it might be because the character of their rape problem is rather different. That might also be why they don’t experience vigilante justice, like what just happened in Nagaland, a small Indian province where villagers, frustrated by the slow pace of prosecution, pulled out an alleged rapist from prison last week and lynched him.

Most Western countries, including the United States and Udwin’s own England, have made far more progress in beating back retrograde patriarchal notions that feed violence against women than India and other traditional societies. For starters, the views expressed by Singh and his lawyers are commonplace in India — but anomalous in America. Udwin would have to drill into the subterranean reaches of America before finding a man willing to spew such bile.

There could hardly be a more striking testimony to the vast chasm between India and, say, America in recognizing women’s rights than Scout Willis’s recent “free the nipple” campaign, in which Bruce Willis’s and Demi Moore’s daughter went strolling topless in Manhattan to draw attention to Instagram’s ban on nude pictures. American feminists celebrated her stunt. But not even the most liberated feminist in India would have thought her protest to be anything but insane.

Udwin’s original promos for the film had promised to highlight worldwide rape statistics to draw attention to the global scope of the problem. The final film omitted them (at least the version I saw), which is just as well because such statistics mislead more than they enlighten.

India’s official rape statistics registered 1.8 rapes per 100,000 people in 2010, compared with the United States’ 27.3 in 100,000. But everyone knows that rape is massively underreported in traditional societies, where there is a strong stigma attached to victims. Moreover, the definition of rape is much broader in America compared to India, where marital rape wasn’t even considered rape until recently. Perhaps most importantly, whatever problems the U.S. and UK have in prosecuting rape, India’s criminal justice system is virtually incapable of arresting and prosecuting rapists in a timely manner — when such arrests and prosecutions are made at all.

Ignoring the strides that some countries have made in safeguarding women and their rights may be politically correct. But such false equivalence doesn’t help Indian women. If even rich, advanced countries can’t protect their women, it seems to say, then it’s no big deal if a poor, developing one like India can’t either.

This “enlightened” attitude might ultimately do as much disservice to Indian women as the deplorable ban on Udwin’s gut-wrenching film.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Sex

Women With Disabilities Are Three Times More Likely to Face Abuse: Report

Violence against women with disabilities is often ignored in several countries

Women with disabilities are three times as likely to be raped, physically abused or sexually assaulted, according to Human Rights Watch.

A resource on gender-based violence designed for people with disabilities, released by HRW ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday, states that women and girls with disabilities are increasingly susceptible to violence but are often ignored when it comes to prevention programs.

The organization documented several cases across Zambia, India, Uganda and Turkey, finding a host of problems related to discrimination, vulnerability, accessibility and awareness.

“Women and girls with disabilities are too often the victims of violence, yet get too little information on where to go for help,” said Shantha Rau Barriga, HRW’s disability-rights director.

TIME Sexual Assault

The Hunting Ground Reignites the Debate Over Campus Rape

Filmmakers criticize campuses, fraternities and politicians for not keeping students safe

The debate over how to prevent and investigate sexual assault on campuses has been waged for over a year now with lawmakers like Senator Gillibrand calling sexual assault on campus an “epidemic,” and the White House threatening colleges and universities with sanctions for not following reporting and adjudication guidelines. More than 100 colleges are now under investigation for possibly violating federal laws that aim to keep students safe. But just as campuses have entered a new semester, and the protests seemed to be dying down, a provocative new documentary called The Hunting Ground is pouring gasoline on the debate.

The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, hit theaters in New York and Los Angeles last weekend and will go on a tour of college campuses as it is rolled out across the country. It’s already causing controversy, with advocates saying it sheds a much-needed light on the way colleges cover up rape on campus and critics accusing the filmmakers of fear mongering and advocating for a radical adjudication procedure that ignores due process for the accused. Bringing the story to campuses where students are carrying mattresses to protest what they say is administrations’ indifference to victims of assault is sure to incite a whole new round of anxiety over the issue.

The Hunting Ground filmmakers spare no one in their crusade to stop assault on college campuses. In an interview with TIME, they critiqued the fraternity system, university officials who protect athletes accused of attacking women, politicians advocating for arming women on campus and even the White House for what they believe to be an insufficient campaign to keep students safe.

Back in 2012, the issue of campus safety not yet hit the covers of magazines like TIME, and it certainly wasn’t on the radar of filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering who were then traveling across the country to screen their Emmy-award winning documentary on sexual assault in the U.S. military, Invisible War, a film that former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta credits with inspiring him to take action on the issue which resulted in changes in the way that assaults are prosecuted in the military.

But as they toured campuses, they kept hearing the same message: “This happened to me, too. What’s happening in the military is happening at my school.” And it was clear to the filmmakers that, like in the military, schools were not doing enough to help these women. Only 41% of all universities initiated an investigation into sexual assault claims in the last five years, according to a Senate survey.

“We felt we’d received this call we had to respond to,” says Ziering. What result is a searing portrayal of a university system that the filmmakers say failed to create a safe environment for students and hid cases of sexual assault brought to their attention. By presenting dozens of first-hand accounts—they interviewed more than 100 survivors—Dick and Ziering hoped to personalize the conversation around campus rape in the same way that they did the debate about assault in the military.

A Premeditated Crime

They say their mission began with disproving the perception that campus rapes are just drunken hookups that one party regrets the next morning. “In so many of these situations, there was a predator at work. These survivor was picked out, plied with alcohol and set up to be assaulted,” says Dick. “And then the school’s response was often unsupportive of the survivor. First, victim blaming, and then the investigation that followed was either inadequate or didn’t happen at all.”

To make their case, Dick and Ziering tracked down someone rarely heard from in this debate: a convicted rapist. The man, whose face is blurred out, describes the ease with which he and fellow college students would deploy alcohol as a weapon to incapacitate girls and assault them.

“We felt it was important to include the mindset of a rapist who describes the ways in which these crimes are premeditated and highly calculated by serial predators,” says Ziering. Research indicates that only a small percentage of men commit these crimes, but that assailants attack an average of six victims.

The stories Dick and Ziering heard often shared the same setting—fraternities. Of the thousands of insurance claims that are made against fraternities each year, those for sexual assault are the second most common. The issue is so dire that some schools, like Dartmouth College and University of Virginia, have gone as far as to ban alcohol (or at least kegs and hard alcohol) at frats.

The filmmakers, while acknowledging that fraternities can be a productive part of campus life, accuse national chapters and colleges of condoning a culture often taken advantage of by predators. “The problem is that when you go on campus and you start asking where are the problem houses, where the sexual assaults happen, within a half an hour, you get that answer from a student,” says Kirby. Several interviewees in the film highlight one fraternity in particular— Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which they say is known on many campuses as “Sexual Assault Expected.”

“If the students know, the administration must have known for a long, long time,” adds Kirby. “Why aren’t they warning students? Or parents?” In the film, one school does send a letter to incoming freshmen warning them about a frat that has been sanctioned for assaults committed by its members. After backlash from the fraternity brothers’ parents, the school stops sending out warnings.

TIME reached out to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national chapter for a response to these claims. They wrote: “We believe anyone who commits sexual assault or other illegal acts should be held accountable and face punishment that is appropriate for those actions…Moreover, sexual assault is an issue related to all college students not specifically to fraternity men.” Brandon Weghorst, Director of Communications, also pointed out that SAE offers education and training on how to stop sexual assault.

MORE The Problem With Frats Isn’t Just Rape. It’s Power

The Athlete Bubble

The filmmakers also highlight similar issues with college athletics. The documentary follows the campus adjudication process for a handful of women, including Erica Kinsman, a former Florida State University student who claims that Jameis Winston, the likely no. 1 pick in the next NFL draft, raped her. Winston was never charged by the police and was cleared of violating the school’s code of conduct in December. Kinsman claims that FSU protected Winston while she had to endure the death threats from FSU football fans throughout the state. She has since sued the school and switched colleges.

A similar claim is made in the film by a campus investigator at Notre Dame, who says that administrators told him he could not reach out to athletes or coaches to locate a football player accused of sexually assaulting another student. The film notes that presidents and provosts at FSU, Notre Dame, and several other schools in the documentary declined to be interviewed for the film.

MORE Some Rules About Consent Are Unfair to Male Students

Botched Investigations

The filmmakers assert that some university administrators have been reluctant to bring the assault numbers to light because doing so could damage the reputation of the school. It’s an accusation echoed by some lawmakers: “The current lax oversight has the perverse effect of incentivizing colleges to encourage non-reporting, under-reporting and non-compliance with the already weak standards under current federal law,” Senator Gillibrand wrote in TIME.

Many schools fire back that giving the benefit of the doubt to the victim would undermine due process and lead to wrongful expulsions in cases where there’s little evidence. And while going to the police is an option, starting a criminal investigation, advocates argue, can be a lengthy process that can leave the victim to face-to-face with their accused attacker in dorms or classrooms for years, so schools need to get involved.

MORE Why Victims of Rape in College Don’t Report to the Police

The Safety Debate in DC

Recently, some conservatives have suggested that ending the ban on weapons on campus and allowing women to have guns on campus would make them safer. “The obvious solution to make an unsafe environment safer is to give students a fighting chance to fend off attackers. That means allowing them to be armed,” writes commentator S.E. Cupp for CNN.com.

But some victim advocates say that adding guns to the mix could be disastrous. “That suggestion shows a blatant ignorance of the issue,”says Ziering. “More often than not, victims are incapacitated in a way where a gun would make absolutely no difference. If anything, the guns would help the assailants and not the people being assaulted.”

But the Hunting Ground filmmakers say liberals aren’t sufficiently addressing the issue either. Last fall, the White House launched an “It’s On Us” campaign that encourages bystander intervention—students stepping into bad situations to help potential victims. It’s a clever idea: Research shows that a campaign against sexual assault isn’t going to stop rapists, but it can affect how bystanders address such situations. Nonetheless, Clark says the White House should be concentrating its efforts on earlier education.

“If you have to have a bystander intervene in a situation at a college party, we’ve already messed up,” she says. “We have to have this conversation much earlier, in elementary school or secondary school so that it never escalates to this point.”

Ziering adds that by concentrating on students’ responsibility, the campaign doesn’t deploy the proper pressure on administrators. “It’s not just on us. It’s on the administration,” she says.

After her experience, Ziering says if she could ask one thing of the White House, it would be to mandate independent investigators on campus and create a watchdog group that makes sure those investigators maintain their independence.

“We saw this with the military as well: we can’t have foxes guarding the henhouse,” she says. “Any time there is a conflict of interest in our criminal justice system, even on campuses, we won’t get the best outcome.”

Read next: The Debate: How Should College Campuses Handle Sexual Assault

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