It’s safe to say that Netflix has become a bit of an obsession with millennial culture and I’m no exception, I would definitely class myself as a Netflix enthusiast.
I make sure that I get my money’s worth from the service.
And while I am a huge fan of all the cult shows that tend to dominate the “popular” category, I’m also a huge fan of a lesser known category because I really like the documentaries that they offer.
Over the past year Netflix has uploaded some of the best documentaries that I ever watched.
Earlier today I discovered its latest drop – Audrie and Daisy – a documentary that documents the stories of two teenage girls who were sexually assaulted whilst in high school. Tragically Audrie took her on life.
It’s one of those emotive, horrifying and powerful documentaries that Netflix do so well. The kind that could be the key in bringing about essential change.
It’s the kind of documentary that you have to watch and here are ten reasons why.
To understand the stigma that sexual assault victims face from their peers //
We all remember how it feels to be embarrassed in school so imagine that feeling amplified by a million with your most private body parts and experience being shared in its thousands.
In Audrie’s case the sexual assault had been photographed and the images had been shared. She was called names and abused from the outset and she saw her reputation as having been ruined for ever. In Daisy’s case she was also abused verbally, receiving death threats and ultimately having her home set alight. They were forced out of the area and she was the victim, not the culprit.
And imagine no one speaking up for you.
When speaking at the end of the documentary Daisy offers a powerful and telling quote – “Because the words of our enemies aren’t as awful as the silence of our friends”.
To understand the trauma that can be caused by the assault //
Unless you’ve been sexually abused yourself it’s pretty much impossible to fully understand what the victim has and is going through but we can be empathetic towards it. This documentary gives you some insight in to how they were both feeling and how it affected them in the aftermath. On top of this imagine having people not believe you and actually blame you for the assault that took place.
To understand the role that social media can play in these cases //
We’ve seen this time and time again but these days’ social media is often the centrepiece of sexual assault and rape cases. The sharing of images and video’s relating to the case forces the victim to repeatedly live through the trauma that was caused by the assault and the stigma and shaming that comes with it.
To understand how the victims are treated //
Another sexual assault case, another case where the victim is blamed but sadly this is the norm. The victim is believed to have caused the assault by acting a certain way or dressing in a particular outfit. The victim is never to blame for the assault, no matter the what, where or why.
To understand the excuses that are so often offered //
In both of the case shown in the film alcohol was involved and this is often used as an excuse for the assault that took place. It’s often said that the young women should have not drunk that so much and that essential they were making themselves vulnerable. However, what we should be saying is that young men should not touch these girls due to their alcohol levels as this means they were unable to obtain undoubtable consent. It all comes back to that one word – consent and these men didn’t and couldn’t have had it.
To hear a Sheriff claim that the “girls were culpable too” //
For me this is the most disgusting part of the documentary and I found myself having to bite my lip from anger. You really need to hear it for yourself.
To see the role that a name can play //
I won’t go in to too much detail here but needless to say that sometimes your name can help you out.
To understand why change is needed //
Netflix has a unique opportunity to tap in to an audience of people that might otherwise have overlooked the seriousness of the victim blaming culture. This documentary could have far reaching implications and perhaps politicise people in to fighting for change in their area or country.
To be angered at what happens next //
Because you should be angered at what happens – or doesn’t happen – in the cases featured documentary.
To be inspired by the strength that they show //
It takes huge bravery to speak out about sexual assault, for the reasons above and many more. These ladies are showing serious strength in speaking out and by using their experience they might just change the world for other’s.