Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has not shied away from depicting sexual assault despite protests across the board, and for good reason.
Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel, 13 Reasons Why is Netflix’s latest drama mystery that follows a high school student named Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) who tries to unravel the mystery behind his friend and classmate Hannah Baker’s (Katherine Langford) suicide. Along with depicting suicide, the series also handles the sexual assault of Alisha Boe’s character Jessica Davis.
On the series, Jessica is raped by one of the school’s most popular athletes, who also happens to be her boyfriend’s best friend. Jessica copes with her trauma by, drinking and denying that anything ever happened. Many fans of the series have praised how the show handled the aftermath of the assault, especially since it focuses on Jessica’s pain. Unfortunately, because we live in a society that perpetuates rape culture, Boe also said that many people have been slut-shaming and victim-blaming her character.
“They’re calling her a bit*h, and they’re saying she deserved it that [she] should take Justin back and [she] shouldn’t be that drunk at a party and it made me take a second and step back and realize, wow, we as a society are not able to not blame the rape survivor, but more so we want to take Justin’s side because he’s charming and has a nice smile.”
It’s actually horrific that people would do this and it becomes more obvious why most sexual assault victims do not report the crimes committed against them.
Though 13 Reason Why has some very graphic scenes and deals with difficult topics, it’s apparent that these conversations and platforms are extremely vital. Netflix has even been open to criticism and has added more trigger warnings to the series.
With her breakout role in 13 Reasons Why, we’re very sorry that 20-year old Boe has had to contend with such attacks, but we are glad she is able to give a voice to those who are suffering in silence.
13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix.