Rape On The Night Shift is a new Frontline documentary that will air tonight profiling the disturbing cases of undocumented, immigrant cleaning women who are being raped while working the night shift. Frontline’s Rape On The Night Shift is a follow-up of the 2013 Frontline documentary entitled Rape In The Fields, also known as Violacion de un Sueno.
All across the nation, undocumented, immigrant women — mostly from Spanish-speaking countries — try to work hard and seek a better way of life. For some, the janitorial service is a way for them to help provide for their families. Some of the women are married, while others are single mothers who look for this type of work due to the night hours — hours which will allow them to pick their children up for school and get dinner on the table in the evening.
What should be a safe and reliable way for them to carve out a living for themselves ends up being a nightmare as these women often face sexual harassment and rape while working these low-paying jobs. According to the authorities, a nighttime janitorial worker will enter a building alone between 10 p.m. and midnight, where they are often attacked by security guards, coworkers, or managers and supervisors in the building. Many of the rapes are taking place at hotels, malls, and other shopping outlets.
Sadly, many of the female victims are not reporting the attacks due to fear of job loss and because they speak Spanish. For those who are able to communicate in English, once they report the abuse, management fails to do anything and often ends up questioning if the women are telling the truth.
So what is the solution to sexual harassment and rape while working the night shift? Some suggests that the government could step in and provide better security for janitorial workers. Others say that perhaps some sort of electronic device could be worn which will alert authorities when a person is in danger. The most probable solution would be to schedule employees to cover the night shift so that someone is there while the women work, or to send janitorial workers in teams. The reality is all of these solutions could be problematic due to lack of funding.
In April 2013, a Hispanic-Latino cleaning lady was murdered inside of a Texas nightclub. In that case, the incident happened in the daytime, but the victim, who was identified as 27-year old Maria Lucrecia, was working inside the establishment while no one was there. Her dead body was discovered after her husband went to the club to pick up some important papers from his wife. Maria Lucrecia was five months pregnant.
Tonight’s Frontline: Rape On The Nightshift will profile the cases of Erika Morales and Georgina Hernandez. The documentary will be aired in three parts. Part 1 will cover the ABM lawsuit that includes the testimonies of 21 women who were sexually harassed. Part 2 will examine what the government can do to protect vulnerable workers. Part 3 will discuss the undercover sting operation that was put in place to expose potential sexual predators on the night shift.
Frontline: Rape On The Nightshift will air tonight on PBS at 10/9 c. Frontline teases,
“We’re reteaming with Univision, Reveal from CIR, IRP at UC Berkeley and KQED to shine a light on the sexual abuse of immigrant women, often undocumented, who clean the malls where you shop, the banks where you do business, and the offices where you work.”
Frontline Rape On The Nightshift Trailer
Frontline: Rape In The Fields Trailer
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