Frontline: Rape in the Fields

News Release Date: 
June 12, 2013

For the women who pick and handle the food we eat every day, sexual assault often comes with the job.

“Frontline” withUnivision News -- the award-winning news division of the leading media company serving Hispanic America, Univision Communications, Inc. -- for “Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño,” to uncover the hidden price that many migrant women working in America’s fields and packing plants, especially those who are undocumented, are paying to keep their jobs and provide for their families.

“Rape in the Fields” airs Tuesday, June 25, at 9 p.m. CT on NET1 and NET-HD, repeating on Wednesday, June 26, at 5 and 8 p.m. CT and Thursday, June 27, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. CT on NET2 World.

While debate rages on Capitol Hill over the legal and economic impact of immigration reforms, this “Frontline” documentary focuses on the human side of the issue: how female farm workers fall prey to their field bosses and co-workers -- and dare not denounce their attackers. Otherwise, they run the very real risk that they’ll lose their jobs or be deported.

Traveling 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, the investigative team spoke with dozens of women who say they have been sexually abused on the job. And they have 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.

The investigative team interviews women who speak on camera about their alleged abuse for the first time, as well as women who have tried to hold companies accountable in civil court for the actions of their supervisors. But the issue of sexual harassment in the agricultural sector is still uncharted territory. Forensic evidence is rarely gathered; few women are willing to report the crime, and even fewer rape cases are ever litigated.

NET1 and NET-HD are part of NET Television.  NET Television is a service of NET.  For a complete program schedule, visit NET's website (netNebraska.org/television).

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RELEASE WRITTEN BY:  Larry L. Kubert, 402-472-9333, ext. 389, or e-mail at lkubert@netNebraska.org