By Tara Shelby
On Thursday, Stanford’s Camera as Witness (CAW) program will combine a presentation of the documentary “I AM EVIDENCE” with a discussion of Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exams, medical tests given to sexual assault victims.
The film, created by the Joyful Heart Foundation – an organization dedicated to healing, empowering and advocating for victims – focuses on those who have waited for years for their rape kits to be tested: Hundreds of thousands of kits remain untested today.
The CAW program was created to highlight issues ranging from human rights to energy policy through documentaries and films, panels with experts in the field and discussion with the filmmakers and documentarians. The failure of law enforcement to test rape kits is one of six topics CAW is examining this year.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on SART featuring James Jacobs, executive director of Vaden Health Center, Jasmina Bojic, director of CAW and founder of the international documentary film festival UNAFF, Stanford Department of Public Safety Detective Crystal Townley and Madeleine Lippey ’18.
Lippey, who interned at the Joyful Heart Foundation the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, brought the organization to Stanford in 2015 as philanthropy chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
“Resilience is at the core of what they do,” Lippey said of the foundation. “Their work on rape kits in particular is revolutionary; they worked closely with Vice President [Joe] Biden to secure almost $80 million dollars in funding to test rape kits in 2015.”
Supported by the Joyful Heart Foundation, “I AM EVIDENCE” tells stories of sexual assault survivors as well as the law enforcement officials working to test neglected rape kits.
Vaughan Bagley ’12, special projects manager for the Foundation, said she hopes that, “by hearing the stories of these strong and courageous women, people are shocked, outraged and disgusted that a system meant to protect them could so often fail.”
Adjoining the screening and discussion will be a clothing drive for The Grateful Garment Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting clothes for survivors to wear home from the hospital after their clothes are taken to be used as evidence.
Kappa Kappa Gamma President Léa Koob ’19 said she wants the event to educate students on what happens at Stanford when a sexual assault is reported and what resources Stanford provides. Currently, students who want a SART exam cannot get one on campus and must travel to a medical center in San Jose.
”If more people are educated about SART and SART exams, hopefully more people will be able to help provide some guidance to those close to them in the event of a sexual assault and hopefully survivors will feel more comfortable with the reporting process,” Koob said.
The event will take place at 7 p.m. in Hewlett 200.
Contact Tara Shelby at tshelby ‘at’ stanford.edu.
Correction: an earlier version of this article used incorrect pronouns when referring to Vaughan Bagley, and also stated that the Joyful Heart Foundation created the film, when in fact they supported it. The Daily regrets these errors.