CANTA issue #9, 2017

Kia ora! FemSoc kicked off UC Diversity Fest with a screening of The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assaults on US university campuses. The film exposes a widespread, but often unseen, problem, and shows the resilience and determination of survivors to fight back.

This led to an inspiring discussion of what the documentary misses or leaves out, what’s relevant to New Zealand, and what can be done better here at UC. A key point was how, until coming out publicly themselves, most survivors didn’t know how many others there were. This shows how a culture in which it’s taboo to be open about being a survivor keeps the scale of the issue hidden.

In New Zealand it’s often mentioned how little we talk about feelings and personal issues. Having those sometimes difficult conversations ‒ both privately and publicly ‒ is an important start to understanding and fighting the problems many of us face.

However, it’s important to respect that it’s an individual’s choice to disclose personal information. What we can do as a community is create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors. So think about this: What can you do to reduce the stigma of talking about personal issues so people you know feel comfortable coming to you if they need support?

Issue Two: The Greasy Wok 4