It Was Rape

A film by Jennifer Baumgardner

US | 2013 | 60 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 151150


U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker.

IT WAS RAPE gives human faces and voices to statistics, breaking through the silence, denial and victim blaming that allow an epidemic to thrive. Eight women of different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities relate personal stories of surviving sexual assault in their younger years, as well as their struggles toward healing, empowerment, and finally speaking out.
By award-winning feminist author, filmmaker and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, this strikingly relevant documentary will engage all audiences in needed dialogue about the prevalence of sexual assaults in the U.S., at our schools and colleges, and the elements promoting rape culture on and off campus. IT WAS RAPE is a crucial resource for colleges and communities to meaningfully address Title IX issues around sexual violence.


"...heartbreaking, terrifying, and important."


"The film is especially important now, as the conversation about rape culture is more prevalent than ever. It is an important step in empowering victims."

Policy Mic

“IT WAS RAPE will change the way you think about this most terrible and most everyday of crimes. It's heartrending, brave, and important."

Katha Pollitt The Nation

"If [IT WAS RAPE] starts a conversation, it won't be a quiet one, which is just what Ms. Baumgardner wants."

Susan Dominus The New York Times

"[This] film has been an extremely powerful pedagogical tool for me and I wanted to share my gratitude. The film does, in one hour, what I struggle to do justice to in weeks of teaching!"

Dr. Dusty Johnstone University of Windsor

"Baumgardner continues her streak of powerful, personal, intelligent work with It Was Rape…I applaud Baumgardner's film, and am very grateful for the strength and bravery of all of the women in it for telling their stories."

Feminist Allies


Jennifer Baumgardner

Jennifer Baumgardener is is a writer, activist, filmmaker, and lecturer whose work explores abortion, sex, bisexuality, rape, single parenthood, and women’s power. She attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, graduating in 1992. While at Lawrence, she helped organize an anti-war "Guerrilla Theater," led a feminist group on campus, and co-founded an alternative newspaper called The Other that focused on intersectional issues of liberation. She moved to New York City after graduation and in 1993 began working as an unpaid intern for Ms. magazine. By 1997, she had become the youngest editor at Ms.

She has since written for numerous magazines, including Glamour, The Nation, Babble, More, and Maxim. Her books include "Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future, Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism" written with Amy Richards, and "Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics." In 2004, she produced the documentary film I HAD AN ABORTION, which tells the story of ten women’s abortion experiences from the 1920s to the present. Baumgardner’s work has been featured on shows from The Oprah Winfrey Show to NPR's Talk of the Nation, as well as in the New York Times, BBC News Hour, Bitch, and various other venues. She has keynoted at more than 250 universities and, in 2003, the Commonwealth Club of California hailed her in their centennial year as one of six "Visionaries for the 21st Century." From 2013 to 2017, she served as the Executive Director/Publisher at The Feminist Press at the City University of New York (CUNY), a feminist institution founded by Florence Howe in 1970. (01/20)


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