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Breaking the silence

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Audiovisuals + Debate

Free with pre-booking

Although there is a growing trend against gender-based violence in society, and an increasing number of public policies aimed at preventing and eradicating such acts, violence against women continues to be a pandemic that affects all communities and takes various forms. Such is the case of the trafficking of women, one of the most lucrative illegal businesses in the world and often virtually invisible.

For more than 15 years, international journalist Chelo Alvarez-Stehle exposes the underworld of sexual exploitation and trafficking in Asia and the Americas. Through her work she meets Virginia Isaías, a Mexican woman living in California who was kidnapped and forced into prostitution by a trafficking and prostitution ring in Chiapas. When Virginia manages to free herself from her captors, viewers are fascinated by her uplifting transformation into a campaigner against modern-day slavery. Inspired by Virginia's courage, Chelo decides to delve deeper into her unwavering passion for condemning such actions, marking the start of a parallel journey of introspection that shatters the silence regarding sexual abuse in her own family and life.

Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, United States and Spain, 2016, 52 min, Spanish subtitles

After the documentary there'll be a discussion on modern-day sexual exploitation and trafficking with the presence of the filmmaker Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, the protagonist Virginia Isaías, a sex trafficking survivor and founder and president of the Fundación de Sobrevivientes de Tráfico Humano (Human Trafficking Survivors Foundation), and specialist lawyer María José Balda Medarde.

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