Gender Equity Center Hosts ‘Audrie & Daisy’ Screening And Q&A
The Gender Equity Center at Penn State hosted a screening of the 2016 documentary film “Audrie & Daisy,” followed by a Q&A session moderated by Charlie Coleman on Tuesday evening.
Based on a true story, “Audrie & Daisy” explores the effects that sexual assault can have not only on the victims, but friends, family, and the community as a whole.
In 2012, Audrie Pott was sexually assaulted while drunk and in and out of consciousness by her peers. Pictures and video of the incident spread around Pott’s high school. Pott took her life about a week after due to harsh comments directed toward her and a lack of repercussions for her assaulters.
Daisy Coleman was invited to a small party by several of her brother’s friends. Daisy was also sexually assaulted while she was intoxicated, and her assault caused a firestorm within her community. People accused her of lying and seeking attention, and the case eventually made national news.
Charlie Coleman, who served as the moderator for the Q&A following the screening, is the brother of Daisy and was featured in the film. Coleman is also the co-founder of SafeBAE, a student-led organization that aims to end sexual assault among middle and high school students.
Several years removed from the events of the film, Coleman discussed what life is like for him and his healing process. Coleman explained that after the film’s release, he graduated from college and went on to work as a trainer and coach and has since switched career paths to work in construction sales.
While planning his wedding to his current wife, Coleman was faced with the passing of both Daisy and his mother. Coleman mentioned that he is close with his niece, who was born one day after his sister passed away.
Coleman said he keeps his sister’s memory alive by allowing her to have been the last person to tattoo him.
“Every single day to start my day, I can see that on my ribs,” Coleman said.
If Coleman could give his life a motto, he provided a quote from the biblical character Moses, “I am that I am.” He explained how powerful it is to know that you are a part of everything and to know that your story is not yet over, mentioning the semicolon tattoo that his sister had.
When asked what his current feelings are toward his former friends, who were the perpetrators of the crimes towards Daisy, Coleman responded, “I hope they find Jesus,” and cited his faith that helped him find peace.
Coleman emphasized that he wishes these people no explicit ill will but that they someday have to answer for things that they have done and said.
At the end of “Audrie & Daisy,” filmmakers hint at corruption within the small town police force. Coleman explained the sheriff was voted out following the release of the film.
Coleman explained that in order to reduce sexual violence moving forward, it’s necessary to communicate with one another. He cites social media as being somewhat of a downfall in the ability to have simple conversations and open up with one another.
In relationships, Coleman suggests, “learn each other’s love languages.” He encouraged the audience to make an effort to have deeper conversations and to learn their partner’s soul.
“It doesn’t always have to be sexual,” Coleman explained.
Coleman continues to be a voice for the film and provides a unique perspective due to his proximity to those involved in the incident.
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