LAUREN is a beautifully acted and directed web series on the WIGS YouTube channel starring Jennifer Beals and Troian Bellasario. Each short episode, eleven minutes or less, explores an extremely important and timely issue – sexual harrassment in the military, the prevalence of which has only come to light in recent years.
“LAUREN features PRETTY LITTLE LIARS’ Troian Bellisario as Sgt. Lauren Weil who reports to her commanding officer, Maj. Jo Stone, played by Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, The L Word) about being raped by three fellow soldiers. Stone’s reaction is far from what the Sergeant expects. She warns Lauren about the consequences she would have to bear if she pursued the accusations regarding the “incident.” The assailants’ punishment would be minimal compared to the repercussions this would have on Lauren’s career, a mother of a five-year old daughter and a five generations of soldier.” (Anca Dumitru, The Huffington Post)
“Rape in the military is a subject that is constantly overlooked, and recently, it’s gotten to the point where Congress is considering a Bill that would take these rape investigations out of the hands of the military chain of command. Often, military rape victims have no one else to report to but their boss, who might be close friends with the rapist or the rapist himself. It’s a huge problem, one that “Lauren” tackles head-on. It is difficult to watch (each episode has a warning about strong language and sexual content) and rightly so because “Lauren” captures the grim realities that many of these military men and women who have been sexually assaulted must face. If you can stomach it, it’s a series that you need to watch.” (Hera Syed, PopInsomniacs)
“LAUREN is, simply put, about empowerment … statistics show that 1 in 3 people who serve will be sexually abused by their fellow soldiers in some way … This web series attempts to bring to light the difficulty and shame that surrounds reporting rape in the military … Sgt. Lauren Weil … knows that what happened to her isn’t right … What she can’t understand … is why an institution like the military expects her to lay down her life, yet can’t protect her in her hour of need. … It’s a series that will be hard to watch, but really can’t be missed.” (Elizabeth Hawk, Blogher: Life Well Said)