Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Support the Monique Baza Story

I just made a donation in support of the film "The Monique Baza Story." It is an exciting upcoming film that tackles a serious issue on Guam, violence against women, in particular sexual violence, which according to the film's producers happens on Guam at a rate significantly higher per capita than a teeming metropolis like New York City. The film tells the story of Monique Baza who was kidnapped and raped in 2012 and after seeing the disastrous state of Guam's legal system and support system of victims, decided to speak out. Last year Chamorro Studies and Women and Gender Studies at UOG invited her along with several others to come and speak at a forum on sexual violence. Not all victims are able to respond the way she has, some find it too difficult and daunting to deal with the burden and society's inability sometimes to negotiate their emotion wounding or the social wound that their attack has revealed that few want to admit to or deal with.

Here is a message from Tricia Alawit, who plays Monique Baza herself in the film and is also a co-writer and executive producer on the project. She is leading a fundraising drive for the film and you can see the link below to make a donation yourself:
Alright folks! Wish me luck! Here goes:
A year ago, I met with one amazing woman: A proud veteran, a Guam DOE teacher, a wife, a mother...A SURVIVOR. I was initially astonished by her stories in the media: Kidnapping, Rape, Escaped, Wow! On Guam! No Way! I knew I had to meet her. I was lucky to know someone who could introduce us. SO! There we were, two women sharing a cup of coffee; and there "I" was, just listening to her story and taking in everything. I remember feeling frustrated and angry with our system. I felt let down. After all, this could have been me! It could very well be your daughter, sister, mother and wife! It was at that very moment I knew her story had to be told. I knew her story will be the story that will help change the way we, as a community, will handle the violence against women on Guam. Monique has one amazing story of fear, struggle and happiness. Since then, we have put together an amazing team working diligently to produce this film.
Please invest in our film and take a stand with us and say "Enough is enough! Violence against women on our island STOPS now!" Any investment - small or large - will be extremely appreciated. Every penny counts 

Below is more information on the film, as well as the trailer. 


The Monique Baza Story"

Project Objectives
Our goal in producing this docudrama

Share the inspiring story of Monique Baza and her fight to end violence against women on Guam.

Create awareness. Guam is currently going through a crisis.  The rate of “reported” sexual assaults against women is second highest in the nation, only second to that of Alaska.  We have yet to touch on the “unreported” sexual assaults.  Per capita, Guam ranks the highest in the nation!  These figures are startling.

Provoke Change.  We are confident this film will ignite a chord with our audience provoking positive action with the local community; creating a community that will become more cognizant of these acts against women. It is our hope that victims will take-in Monique’s story and find their own strength in coming forward and reporting their attackers.


The Real Monique Baza

"The importance of the film is to have people start speaking up for themselves, [because] that is what needs to happen. You can not be silent anymore. If you want things to change, then you got to do something to change it. You can not rely on somebody else to do it for you."
In the fall of 2012, Monique Baza was abducted from the parking lot of a popular local bakery near her home. She was beaten, tied down and sexual assaulted multiple times. Through pure strength, wit and courage she broke free and brought herself to safety.
This would unfortunately only be the “beginning” of her story. Like many other victims of sexual assault, she blamed herself and felt internally humiliated. Monique would later find herself fighting a flawed justice system that would eventually lead to her turning point. To add fuel to her fire, she would have to face the public criticism and scrutiny that goes along with publicly advocating on behalf of all sexual assault victims on Guam.

This is a story of a wife, a mother, a proud veteran, a high school teacher, who used her story to fuel a community to stand up against violence against women. 

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