A new documentary will take on the subject of sexual abuse of farmworkers.
"Rape in the Fields," a co-production by PBS Frontline, Univision, the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporting Program at U.C. Berkeley, will air on the evening of June 25 on PBS. Univision News will air a Spanish version titled "Violación de un Sueño" on June 29.
According to an announcement from Frontline:
The films are the result of a year-long reporting effort. Bergman and his team traveled from the almond groves of California’s Central Valley to the packing plants of Iowa, from the apple orchards of Washington’s Yakima Valley to the tomato fields of Florida. They spoke with dozens of women who say they have been sexually abused on the job.
And they found that in the vast fields and orchards of today’s agribusiness, it’s easy for a rapist to stalk his victims — who are often, but not always, undocumented women who dare not denounce their attackers for fear they’ll be deported.
A Human Rights Watch report published in May of last year found that rape and other forms of sexual abuse and harassment of female farmworkers was a common problem. Victims "face systematic barriers -- exacerbated by their status as farmworkers and often as unauthorized workers -- to reporting these abuses and bringing perpetrators to justice," the report says.
"Farmworkers who push back against the abuse, or report incidents to management, say they suffer retaliation, getting fewer hours, more abusive treatment, or, worst of all, losing their jobs altogether," according to Human Rights Watch.