The launch of the documentary, “Women of War” was held last week in Beverly Hills. “Women of War” brings attention not only to the headlining topic of sexual trauma faced by the women of our United States Military and the related post-traumatic stress disorder but also addresses treatment and solutions.
The event hosted by actor/photographer, Shari Belafonte began with a wine and cheese reception, followed by the screening of the film and special guest speakers including the award winning filmmaker, Phil Valentine.
Phil spent months interviewing hundreds of females for the documentary, gave insight as to how the documentary came and shared the appalling statistics. That is, of the women interviewed: 98% have been sexually assaulted. The film also examines how PTSD manifests itself differently in women and questions why little is being done to reduce the accelerating rates of homelessness, substance abuse, divorce and suicide among America’s bravest women.
Celebrities, musicians, activists, educators and others sat mesmerized listening to retired officer, Colonel Kimberly Olson from Grace After Fire, who ardently spoke about instilling stiff consequences for offenders and their superiors.
Among others attending were music producer David Shales, Christina Silva -ex-military, Christina Parovel - Italian actress, Deana Becker- filmmaker, Kat Hawks - actress/producer, Eddy Hawks -producer director, Paul Dorfi - actor/producer, Heidi Dill - producer, John Rockmore- -producer of Women of War event and Benefit Concert, JT Manning - Country music artist, Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, Garry and Jason Clemmons, Kyle Steiner-producer, Mel Kohl- comedian, Monalisa Okojie- jewelry maker, Sandra Costra- designer, Shopan Entesari-music producer, Vaneric Marshall from LA Talk Live Radio
C. Tyler Storm, now a writer/producer, who was featured in the documentary spoke about the rape incident that she encountered. A lesbian, she had been repeatedly raped while in the military because her attackers wanted her to know what it was like to "be with a man" and wanted to convert her.
Former NFL football player, Jeremy Staat (in Marine dress uniform), of the Jeremy Staat Foundation, addressed the audience regarding the high percentage of ex-servicewomen’s’ suicide followed by actress, Dazza Brigitte, who spoke briefly but passionately about supporting the women of the U.S. armed services.
Celebrity attendee Larry Wilcox, a former Marine and the star of the long running successful TV Series CHiPs, summed up the event appropriately by saying “All parents need to look at this film with their teenagers and discuss rights and choices. This kind of education is mandatory.
“This film has given me tremendous insight into what so many women serving in the military have endured” commented “author Kim Westervelt. Further stating, “I am now compelled to tweet, blog, and email others to make sure this film is used as a instructional tool. Producer filmmaker John Hesher summed it up by saying, “We support our men and women serving in the U.S. military. Let’s use our voice to make a difference in these women’s lives.”
For more information contact: womenofwardocumentary.com