The Temple College Democrats gathered in Tuttleman Learning Center Wednesday for a viewing of the Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Invisible War” in honor of summing up Women’s History Month.
The film examines rape against service women in the military. Shocking and emotional stories are told by service women – and men – that have been victims of such violence. Following their hardships after the devastating event and their fight for this epidemic to stop, the film takes an inside look into decades worth of cover-ups and the struggle for victims to live a normal life.
“Most of us in [TCD], we’re all political science students and we learn about the Congress. Their functions are not to act of judiciary powers over rapists in the military. Their job is to vote for funding for the military. It’s disgusting to see what is happening to our service members,” TCD President Dylan Morpurgo said.
Throughout the last month, Morpurgo said TCD has tried to stay as active and as supportive as possible in events that advocate stopping violence against women. One other event meant to advocate to stop violence against women was the second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes was held earlier this week at Founder’s Garden. Hosted by the HEART Wellness Resource Center, male Temple students showed their support to stop rape and violence against women by strapping on a pair of high heels and walking for one mile.
“Hearing the statistics, I believe it’s one in four female Temple students are sexually assaulted during their time at Temple. And than this movie? Honestly, it’s sickening to me,” Morpurgo said.
The 2012 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report concluded that only 20 cases of forcible rape were reported between 2009 and 2011 at Main Campus. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that one in five college women will be victims of sexual assault.
Some attendees at the documentaries viewing were sisters of Lambda Tau Omega Sorority Inc. who heard about the event from one of their fellow sisters. With their sorority standing on a platform that focuses on the respect and empowerment of women, they were somewhat taken aback by what the film reviled.
“It was depressing to watch. I was also considering going into the military and it kind of scared me away from it,” junior psychology major Celynda Torres said. “I know it doesn’t happen to everybody, but there’s still that chance.”
“Temple has a pretty good program that we’re working with that and they have [an instructor teach] self defense classes. Sometimes the law enforcement in the area and around campus will come out to people about how to defend themselves,” said alumnae and fellow sister Christina DeRiggi.
Morpurgo said that for the future, TCD wants to focus on bringing more of a female presence to politics.
Addy Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.