The following is from Kimberly Bautista, the daugther of Maryknoll Affiliate Kathee Bautista:
I returned from Guatemala to Los Angeles a little over a week ago feeling overwhelmingly satisfied with our dating/domestic violence prevention campaign throughout 60 communities: we reached over 2300 audience members in Guatemala!Justice for my Sister resonated with all different types of audiences, from UN representatives to youth, to indigenous communities and religious women, to feminists, and foreigners. The protagonist Rebeca attended several screenings and it was very emotional for audiences to meet her. "We must all be Rebecas!" one audience member in Escuintla passionately shouted after a screening. The film is inspiring audience members of all walks of life to break the culture of victim-blaming and impunity.
During our community screenings, we were also able to launch and promote our text-message-based hotline Mensajes de Paz (Texting Peace). It's a way for our advocacy team to both send blast text messages to our audience members (with advice, inspirational quotes, and tips on how to prevent gender-based vionece) and to answer specific questions that our audiences have for us. We can give references for services and council women who are considering to leave abusive relationships or who have experienced sexual assault. The cases we receive are visualized on our interactive map of anonymous reports. To see it, please see: http://www.justiciaparamihermana.com/mapa_de_denuncias/.
The film's advocacy team Colectivo Justicia para mi Hermana and I were even able to meet with the Directors of the National Civilian Police and the Public Prosecutors to plan how we can collaborate on Mensajes de Paz. It's been so inspiring meeting individuals within the state institutions that are eager to work with us to combat violence against women.
Upon return to LA, I recorded our final narration with television/film actress and Ambassador for the Mexican Commission on Human Rights Kate del Castillo. I'm now fundraising to film some public service announcements (PSAs) with Kate to educate viewers about what men can do to prevent violence against women.
If you received a new phone for Christmas, recycle your old one at www.Phones4Freedom.org. Your old phone can help our operators in Guatemala continue to combat human trafficking utilizing innovative mobile technology. Best part is, shipping is FREE!!! Just go to the site and download a label. Please let me know if you send in phones, so I can let them know that the donations should go to our project specifically. Spread the word!
On behalf of Colectivo Justicia para mi Hermana and the characters of the film, Merry Christmas! And SINCERE THANKS for your continued support.
Best wishes for 2012!!!