“Who’s going to stop me? You? You’re a woman–you’re nothing!”
The words echoed off the walls of the Gough Great Room as the man on screen held a scalding iron inches away from his wife’s face.
This act of domestic violence was one of many in the UK film Provoked, which told the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia.
Ahluwalia went to prison for setting her husband on fire after being abused by the man for ten years. The film shows her transformation from an insecure and broken victim into a confident and free woman.
The movie was shown as part of Domestic Violence Awareness day on Oct. 27, sponsored by Students Advocating Gender Equality.
Throughout the day, SAGE members were available at a display table to answer any questions and hand out purple ribbons.
The main event that evening was the presentation from Laurel House, a local domestic violence shelter. In addition to the movie, Tommie Wilkins, director of volunteer services and community education at Laurel House, led a discussion about domestic violence.
Wilkins attended Eastern and was impressed by the turnout of about 75 students.
“You make me proud to be an alumni because when Cabrini did this, only one person showed up,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins went on to share about an experience she had as a student witnessing domestic violence. She said she watched as a guy punched his girlfriend down the first set of stairs outside of the Dining Commons. As she lay on the marble landing between the staircases, he walked up and pushed her down the second set with his foot.
“No one said anything,” Wilkins said. “The entire campus knew what happened, but no one did anything.”
Due to situations like this, several students felt the need to make SAGE an official campus club, where students can gather to explore gender equality topics and conversations.
They meet Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m. in Walton 3.
“It’s a very encouraging, safe place and we all feel comfortable with each other,” Kane said.