Aishah Shahidah Simmons, an incest and rape survivor, has been on the U.S. national and international road raising awareness about rape, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, and the critical non-negotiable need to end all of it almost since the conception of her idea and vision in 1994 that evolved into NO! The Rape Documentary. The making of the film was a 12-year grassroots, Black feminist, lesbian, survivor-led international process and journey that had its world premiere in 2006
NO! The Rape Documentary was ahead of its time. Its 2006-world premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles took place one-year before Title IX was successfully applied to campus sexual assault cases, nine-years before the award-winning film “The Hunting Ground” was released, and eleven-years before the powerful #MeToo and #TimesUp hashtags that represent long-term movements to end sexual violence and sexual harassment raised national and international awareness in unprecedented ways.
More than a film, the Portuguese, French, and Spanish subtitled NO!, and its supplemental materials (100-page study guide and two-hour supplemental video) are educational, organizing, and activist tools, which, since their release, have been continuously used in colleges and universities, high schools, conferences, rape crisis centers, battered women shelters, community centers, juvenile correctional facilities, and government sponsored events throughout the North American continent, and in countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, South America, and the Caribbean.
Focusing on a historically marginalized population, NO! serves as a catalyst to create the space where coalitions and partnerships are formed with Black women and men and other people of color, who are working within their own racial/cultural community’s margins of the larger mainstream gender-based violence movements.