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Sexual abuse of female farmworkers

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Last year, a collaborative investigation pulled back the curtain on sexual abuse of female farmworkers, revealing persistent peril for women working in the food industry.

The reporting culminated in Rape in the Fields, a joint project among The Center for Investigative Reporting, FRONTLINE, Univision and the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

To tell the story, reporters had to find women who were willing to not only come forward with their experience, but be placed in the public eye on camera. They found farmworker Maricruz Ladino, who agreed to share her story.

Ladino says one of her supervisors raped in her in 2006, but she didn’t say anything for months. Once she decided to file a complaint with the company that ran the farm where she and her supervisor worked, she was fired.

Ladino joins “Reveal” to talk with CIR reporter Bernice Yeung about the struggles she endured after she came forward and how speaking out has empowered her.

Watch the full documentary below, and read the series on CIR’s website here. To learn more about how communities are working to address the issue of sexual assault against farmworkers, read about our Solutions Summit from January.