My new film "The Assault" was a very difficult film to make. The content was very intense. I'm often asked, "As a Director how do you choose your projects?" or "How do you approach each project?". Well, I'm not sure how other directors do it, but for me, it all starts with the script. Everyday, I'm sent scripts from agents, producers, actor friends, ect. Some are ok, some are terrible, and there are a ton of scripts in between. It's all about that moment when you feel something, be it a song or something that speaks to you in a world of thousands of things to pay attention to- you stop and take notice... "The Assault" did that for me. I remember reading the script for the first time and thinking, "I have to make this movie. I know how to make this movie. I know how to tell this story."
Based on true events, "The Assault" is about Sam, a small town cheerleader who is sexually assaulted by members of the high school football team at a party, where they were all drinking. But its about much more than that. She is pitted against popular opinion in her community when the "word gets out" and she struggles to overcome her shame and use the evidence gathered (from the subsequent social media firestorm) to piece together a night she can't remember in her fight for justice. Starring: Mackenize Vega, Khandi Alexander, Malik Yoba, Gary Weeks, Amy Bruckner. Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/the-assault
It was important for me to make this movie to speak out for those who can't and let them know they are not alone. Let this film be a cautionary tale for viewers to remember that their are moments in life that can can spiral out of control very quickly, and the consequences of these moment can be life altering for everyone involved. Its our actions in these moments that create character and give us strength. I'm proud that Lifetime consistently has the courage to release films like this, because the the more we can have an open dialogue about these (very real) issues that we face in our communities, the more unable we are to deny their existence. I want to thank Jen Maisel for writing such a powerful script. I know that it was not an easy job for her to write such a painful and powerful tale, but what she created is relevant and poignant. I also want to thank the cast and crew for trusting me and pouring their hearts and souls into each role. These are complex characters with different motivations and, realistically, none of them are perfect. So now my job is finished and the rest is up to you- the viewers. I want to thank you for your interest in the film and and I leave you with these statistics.
Facts and Statistics about Rape and Sexual Assault
(From Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization, 2010, National Crime Victimization Survey: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv10.pdf)
In 2010, there were 188,380 reports of rape and/or sexual assault in the United States.
More than half of rape and sexual assault crimes take place between 6pm and 6am.
Females are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault (182,000) than males (40,000).
Most victims of rape or sexual assault are females younger than 24 years of age.
Most rapes committed against women are committed by an intimate partner (spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend) or someone else they know (friend, family member, acquaintance).
Help for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault
Safe Horizon provides support to over 1,300 people victimized by rape and sexual assault each year. We offer services to rape and sexual assault survivors through our Rape and Sexual Assault hotline, as well as through our Community Program offices. Rape and sexual assault survivors can receive in-person help, as well as referrals for resources ranging from medical assistance to counseling, from our staff.
To find out how to get help, go to our Rape and Sexual Assault page.
To Make a donation to organizations that work with women who have been sexually assaulted such as RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest Network) at www.rainn.org, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence www.endsexualviolence.org, and Break the Cycle at www.breakthecycle.org.
Not Alone, www.notalone.gov, was launched in connection with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The Task Force was established on January 22, 2014, and since then, thousands of people have shared their stories and ideas about how best to eliminate sexual assault on our campuses and in our schools. To read the full report, go towww.notalone.gov/assets/report.pdf. The website also provides a wealth of resources and information.