Heal the Hood Releases New Movie About Date Rape 

Nonprofit organization hopes to bring more awareness to the issue.

One in five women is sexually assaulted while she is in college, according to the National Institute of Justice's "Campus Sexual Assault Study," and most often, the assault comes by way of date rape.

LaDell Beamon began raising awareness about date rape in 2009 through his nonprofit organization Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis. The agency, which provides positive outlets for at-risk youth, traveled to different schools that year and performed a skit that involved a young lady being date raped.

Beamon has transformed that skit into a movie titled The Mix Up. He's hoping the film will increase awareness of date rape, encourage more victims to seek help, and also expand the resources available to those impacted by it.

click to enlarge Screenshot from The Mix Up
  • Screenshot from The Mix Up

"A lot of young ladies don't know how to tell someone that they've experienced it," Beamon said. "It affects them psychologically. You see a lot of women either being promiscuous or living alternative lifestyles. Even when it comes to being married or in relationships, they can't function to the fullest of their capacity. I feel that anybody who takes advantage of a woman or puts them in a situation like that should suffer the consequences to the utmost, because they're ruining more lives than you can ever imagine."

There will be a red carpet premiere for The Mix Up on September 11th at the Malco Majestic Cinema at 6 p.m. Following the screening will be a panel discussion featuring rape counselors and actors from the film.

The Mix Up is based in Memphis and centers on 18-year-old freshman Sophia Morgan. One night at a college party, she meets a guy, and things eventually escalate between the two. Still a virgin, Sophia doesn't want to have sex with him, but she is raped when she refuses.

Afraid and distraught, Sophia refuses to share the experience with her guardian, Uncle Rick. However, he eventually learns about the situation and is determined to seek revenge on the perpetrator. In the midst of his search for her rapist, things spiral out of control, and many lives are ruined in the process.

"I hope the movie raises awareness on how common this issue is," said Ronterral Clark, who plays Uncle Rick. "Also, for those who have been through it, to seek help and get counseling and let somebody know. Hopefully, it changes the state that we're in now as far as rape."

Date rape has garnered more public attention over recent years. In January, President Barack Obama established the "White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault" to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses. 

Tina Moore plays Sophia in the film. Moore says she now understands how easily she could be put into a situation similar to the one her character experiences.

"I had to put myself in her shoes," Moore said. "What if that did happen to me? What would I do? Things happen, and you have to live with them. It was really important to me, because I found out how I would feel in that situation."


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