After his friend was drugged and raped, Mike — a Denver-based software technologist, husband, and father — looks for answers, seeking to understand drug-facilitated sexual assault and even dosing himself with a common “date rape drug.” ERASED is a social issue documentary that explores this journey to understand how, what, and why this crime happens — and in doing so, put forth arguments about rape culture and men’s role in it.
Unfortunately, sexual assault continues to be a timely and relevant topic in the United States and around the world. From Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement, to Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Brett Kavanaugh, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape are pervasive in our headlines and throughout society. These high-profile stories are just a few examples in an ocean of reported cases and an unquantifiable amount of unreported cases.
An inability to remember an assault is often perceived as a lack of credibility which increases the rate of underreporting.
Having your memory essentially erased is psychological violence as it not only robs you of first-hand knowledge of what happened to your body, but it can prevent you from being believed and even trusting yourself. These perpetrators are uniquely capable at staying under the radar, hiding under common misconceptions, and more dangerously, benefiting from a culture that allows it.
Can this film have an impact on prospective perpetrators? The psychology of men committing drug-facilitated sexual assault, which is often premeditated, is chilling to explore. What if any man — your neighbor, your colleague, your friend — could be an undetected rapist?
By exploring the uncomfortable complexity of drug-facilitated sexual assault, revealing the nature of the perpetrators, and understanding the traumatic impact on the victims, we ask men to be a significant part of the solution in disrupting rape culture.
Director: Mike Tolliver
Producer: Andrea Nordgren
Cinematographer: Melanie McLean Brooks
Advisor: Caroline Heldman
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