Netflix’s miniseries “Unbelievable” highlights the holes that still exist in our culture regarding sexual assault and reflects why we need to start thinking in becoming a feminist world that protects women instead of questioning them
is the incredible mini-series launched on Netflix that tells two stories in
parallel and with a time lag: the first is the story of a young woman named
Marie, which took place in 2008 and tells the story of how in the middle of the
night a stranger sneaks into her room, ties her up, rapes her, photographs her and
runs away. And not only that, it’s also the
story of how the denunciation of this event turns against her. The second story
takes place in 2011, and it’s the story of two police investigators and their
excellent work in finding a serial rapist.
The story stands out
above all for its empathy in exquisitely narrating what we now know happens to
women all over the world: the doubt and distrust generated towards a woman when
she has been sexually assaulted.
The first chapter in
the series – the first of eight excellent chapters that will leave you hooked
from start to finish- focuses entirely on Marie’s story. From the beginning of
the chapter we see how the young traumatized girl tells the next morning what
has happened to her. How she has been raped. How a man has abused her. Nevertheless,
during the chapter, Marie’s dark past comes to light, a fact that makes the
police even more suspicious of believing her story. Also, police find there is
no obvious evidence that such a rape has occurred. In the end, two male police
officers, frustrated for not having evidence of the rape, pressure the
traumatized and helpless girl into lying. They silence her. They make her
believe that the rape has been a figment of her imagination.
You only need to watch
this first chapter to realize how the series shows the harsh reality that
continues to happen today. How a woman is constantly questioned when she claims
to have been sexually abused. How the police question every part of the story
and the fact, pressing to verify the truth of the story. How every little
detail that might go against the woman’s story is scrutinized.
Fortunately, the story also tells the excellent work of two female police officers -Karen Duvall and Grace Rasmussen- who investigate a serial rapist who ends up being the same man who raped Marie years before. These two women show their empathy for raped women from the beginning. They instantly show their understanding, their belief in the stories they hear from the victims, how the anger they feel at this injustice drives them to work tirelessly to find the man who caused all this pain as soon as possible.
The surprise comes when
it turns out that this story is based on real facts and that’s when the story
and its realism are so well understood. The story is based on the research
article An Unbelievable Story of a Rape which received a Pulitzer Prize
in 2016 in the category of Explanatory Reporting.
In an era where feminist movements -such as the Me Too movement- are growing in strength, it is necessary to emphasize how much this type of series are needed to remind us of the hard processes that a rape victim goes through even today. This series can serve to humanize more all the victims from sexual assault and bring out the empathy of each person, make them put into these women’s shoes and try to understand that this is something that also happens in real life and that must be eradicated.
Stop questioning what
the victim was wearing or why evidence is missing. Enough of trying to ridicule
every woman who has suffered at the hands of a man. Enough of a police and
judicial system that still does not fully understand the situation a woman goes
through when she decides to report a sexual assault. The greatest struggle
today is against all those who are capable of questioning the truthfulness and
pain of a sexual assault. It is against all those who have ever tried to make
the victim feel guilty.
That is why, for all
the prejudices that still exist towards women who report rape and for all the
women who have been forced to be silent, we need more series like
“Unbelievable”. Series that remind us of the need for the world to
become feminist. Perhaps then, when this change has happened, we’ll be able to
speak fearlessly and there will be no art of silencing.