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Lady Gaga's Oscar Nomination Boosts Rape Awareness On Campus

We are delighted that "Til It Happens To You," The Hunting Ground's original song, has become in the fifth song of a documentary to receive an Oscar nomination.

We thank Lady Gaga and Diane Warren for their inspiring and moving contribution to the film. Viewed more than 24 million times online, the song's video debut sparked a 34 percent increase in calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline and has become an anthem for sexual assault survivors throughout. the world. This recognition is more than awards; it's about the long-awaited change that it will help bring.

So is The Hunting Ground .

Last year marked a major turning point in the fight against sexual assault on campus. Since The Hunting Ground premiered at Sundance last January, we have challenged powerful institutions that have covered up the problem on their campuses for decades. Together with our partner organizations and student activists, we have started a national conversation about the culture of sexual assault on campus in America and how to stop it.

Almost a million people watched the film on CNN, while more than four million people watched The Hunting Ground online. We've brought our message to diverse and influential audiences to drive change, from Washington, D.C. to ESPN headquarters and the most powerful corporate executives in the country. This outreach, together with the work of our partners, including the White House It's On Us campaign with Generation Progress, has helped fuel a rising tide of action to prevent sexual assault on college campuses in the whole country. In 2016, Delta Airlines will continue to show It's On Us PSAs on all flights and 6,000 radio stations nationwide will play PSAs with "Til it Happens to You." The Hunting Ground has also hosted events with state governors and legislatures, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, and the Office on Violence against Women.

Lawmakers are listening. In 2015, dozens of state legislatures introduced bills that address sexual assault on campus. This included "Enough is Enough," a New York bill that became law last July after screenings of The Hunting Ground before the New York State Legislature. As Governor Cuomo said during his state of the state address Wednesday: "We were right when we passed the most aggressive law to stop sexual violence on the nation's college campuses."

At the federal level, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill introduced the Campus Safety and Accountability Act with broad bipartisan support.

The academy is listening. There have been nearly 1,000 assessments at US universities. More than 50 schools have conducted sexual assault climate surveys, a critical first step administrators must understand to prevent harmful trends of assault on their campus, and hundreds of institutions they have started to reform their policies. And as of this month, there are 197 open investigations for universities into possible violations of federal Title IX law.

Change is not easy, of course. We've come across naysayers, including those who go so far as to attack scientifically established statistics and documented accounts of survivors in our film. Not surprisingly, these attacks come from schools whose misdeeds the film exposed, such as Florida State University and Harvard Law School, which have decided to target the messenger rather than the problem on their campuses. Whether they want to hear it or not, the fact is that if we don't make changes, 1 in 5 women will continue to be sexually assaulted while in college, as multiple studies confirm.

As filmmakers, we strive to focus on pressing and complex topics that will generate awareness and discussion. Our 2012 documentary, The Invisible War raised the curtain on the sexual assault crisis in our military, prompting congressional hearings and dozens of successful reforms. The Hunting Ground has also shed light on some uncomfortable truths. And by challenging the status quo, we have exposed the powerful institutions that fear change most.

This awards season also marks a new year and, with it, an opportunity to bring the conversation about sexual violence to new audiences on campus, in the media, and in the halls of Congress. We will continue to do just that in 2016, supporting and supporting the survivors at The Hunting Ground including Kamilah, Erica, Annie, Andrea, Rachel, and Sofie, and all those whose voices have yet to be heard. . The safety of millions of young women and men depends on it.

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