things that matter

She Grew Up With Sexual Abuse And Now She’s Breaking Her Silence To Help Those In A Similar Situation

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“When it comes to child sexual abuse, stigma and silence exist across cultures.”

In a recent interview with Latina, filmmaker Jasmin Mara López explained what motivated her to create “Silent Beauty,” a documentary about the sexual abuse that persisted for generations in her family. “I wanted to encourage a dialogue around it and learn how it translated within other families,” Lopez, who found similar stories in other Latino families, told Latina.

For years, Lopez silently lived with the trauma of sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather — “a highly regarded minister” — but when her niece was born, Lopez realized she couldn’t stay silent any longer. So she came forward. And then other members of her family came forward as well.

“Silent Beauty” explores the culture of sexual abuse and the silence that enables and empowers it.

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In her interview with Latina, Lopez described the problems families like hers face when dealing with sexual abuse. “If anyone tried to speak up, they were manipulated and silenced, made to feel ashamed. No one denounced the crimes. Misogyny, the need to preserve our family’s image and stigma were at the root of this silence.” Her documentary, “Silent Beauty,” was her attempt to remove sexual abuse from the environment that empowers it.

“Silent Beauty” is made up of a collection her family’s archival Super 8 footage.

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On the IndieGoGo page for “Silent Beauty,” Lopez explains that the film will consist of her family’s collection of “silent home movies.” Going through these old videos helped Lopez heal, as she saw her family in a new light, and developed a compassion for those who dealt with similar abuse. Much of the film’s budget is dedicated to converting the Super 8 footage.

Adding another layer to the the importance of ‘silence,’ Lopez explains that around the time she came forward, she began to lose her hearing.

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Lopez says that losing her hearing only inspired her to go deeper for meaning and how silence affects those around her.

On the IndieGoGo page, Lopez explains:

“The hearing loss followed a series of traumatic events, and as a result, I entered a new form of isolation. I went inwards. I often found myself deep in thought while everything moved around me, examining my emotions or considering a deeper meaning to all aspects of my life. This loss was poetry as it created a space that brought depth, meaning, beauty.”

Watch the trailer for “Silent Beauty” here.


As Latina reports, “Silent Beauty” is expected to have a 2017 release date. If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, hotlines, like RAINN, are available 24/7.

[H/T] LATINA: This Documentary Tackles The Culture Of Silence Around Child Sexual Abuse In Latinx Homes 

READ: Latinas Are One Of The Fastest Growing Demographics According To This Study And We’re Also Becoming Businesswomen

The Women's March Inspired This Latina Comedy Producer To Organize Her Own March In NYC

things that matter

The Women’s March Inspired This Latina Comedy Producer To Organize Her Own March In NYC

La Marcha De Mayo / Facebook

Ana Breton, a digital producer on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” has gathered an army of volunteers to put together “La Marcha De Mayo,” a massive protest march happening in NYC this upcoming May. The march’s goal, per Ana, is to bring awareness and visibility to Latinos and immigrants in this ever-charged political climate.

La Marcha De Mayo is a protest March happening on May 6th in New York City.

It follows the same route as the Women’s March, which drew enormous crowds and inspired Ana Breton to look for a similar march or protest that was specifically designed for Latino and immigrant issues. When she couldn’t find any, she decided to make her own.

I called Breton recently to discuss how it all came together and what inspired her to start this march that is expecting several thousand people to attend.

Tell me about the Marcha De Mayo, what’s it about? How did it start?

“I had just come back from the women’s march and had a great experience. I had been really angry about the immigration issues and what Trump was saying. A few days after the inauguration, Trump admitted his deportation and immigration policies were pretty solid. I was looking to start a march or protest that was specifically for Latinos and Immigrants and within three days, 10,000 people were interested just from a FB event post. Specifically Latinos in NYC, who wanted to express the same concerns.”

How are you managing it all?

“Lots of people have asked to volunteer. Thirty in total are planning the march. They are students, people with families, mostly Latinos and immigrants as well, all volunteers. We meet every weekend and talk about the march and what’s happening in the media. This all started as like a grass roots and volunteer movement, but unofficially — grass roots without the grass. Haha.”

The planning committee for La Marcha De Mayo are all volunteers.

Team Marcha De Mayo

These are just some of the folks who are helping plan the massive march.

What would you want people know about you?

“Even as the lead organizer, the march is not about me, it’s about Latinos, immigrants and the people coming to support them.”

Okay, but tell me about you anyway. Haha.

“Haha, okay. I was born in Mexico City, lived there until I was nine. My parents were sick of getting robbed and having their home broken into, so we moved to the U.S. because everyone told them it was safe. I grew in up in Utah but moved to NYC about three years ago to pursue film, tv and comedy.”

Breton says her work on “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” has sharpened her politically conscious mind.

As a member of a very political show, working there has made her hyper-aware of what is going on in politics. She’s had to learn every politician’s name and their political positions on every issue, which brought her to get way more involved. Out of that conviction arose “La Marcha De Mayo.”

Do folks at the show know what you’re doing?

“I’ve basically invited everyone from the show, but there’s no way to know if Samantha Bee will come. She did come with us all on a big bus to the Women’s March in DC and we didn’t have to work or shoot anything for the show. It was ultimately so that everyone coming could actually participate in the march and really be there. To really support women.”

What’s it like to put together a march of this size?

“It’s definitely become a part time job. It’s been wonderful to meet people. There are so many organizations that are designed to help Latinos in NYC that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Mixteca has become our main sponsor. They help Latino families who need help with legal issues, work issues and anything else. Meeting them has been awesome. Loud is another organization, they’re a preventative healthcare organization for Latinos. They reached out and wanted to help. It’s been great to highlight all these groups and help them and have them get involved.

I’m also very tired. Writing emails is my new hobby. Ha.”

What do you hope to accomplish with the march?

“One of the main things I really want to accomplish is to bring visibility. This march is really about visibility. I want Latinos and immigrants to show up and say “we’re here, we’re not going anywhere.” To visually represent who we are. We’ve talked about undocumented people who can’t be there. We have said to undocumented people who are worried, “If you don’t feel safe, you don’t have to be there, but we will find a way to make you visible.” With the ICE raids, we want people to be safe, but to know most importantly “we’re here, we’re not going anywhere.”

Is there anything else you’d like to include or throw out there?

The website is, all information, how to sign up, how to get involved, it’s all there. Everyone at mitú is invited, of course.

Breton and her volunteer committee are hosting a fundraiser to help support the march’s efforts. You can find information on that here.

READ: Some Immigrants Are Removing Their Tattoos To Avoid Being Profiled By ICE

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