HOME TRUTH

A Film by Katia Maguire and April Hayes

About The FILM


One June night in 1999, Jessica Gonzales, a Latina and Native American woman from Colorado, experiences every parent’s worst nightmare when her estranged husband abducts their three young daughters, in violation of a domestic violence restraining order. By 4 a.m. the following morning, Jessica's three girls have been killed. Devastated, Jessica files a lawsuit against the police and her town, claiming that over the course of 10 hours that night, she begged the police to enforce her restraining order and bring her daughters home, but they did not adequately respond. Hoping to prevent this tragedy from happening to the millions of domestic violence victims and their families in the U.S. who depend on restraining orders for protection, Jessica embarks on a legal quest, asking courts to determine if police have a Constitutional duty to enforce these protective orders.

Home Truth is a documentary currently in post-production. Shot over the course of 9 years, our film examines Jessica’s historic legal case from Castle Rock, Colorado all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and eventually the international human rights system. We witness Jessica's evolution from victim to activist, as she gathers the strength to reclaim her voice and reveal the truths that have defined her life: the cycles of abuse that occurred in her home, as in millions of others; the systemic failures that led to her daughters’ deaths and that leave many domestic violence victims unprotected; the emotional and physical aftereffects of trauma that linger long after the initial abuse or tragedy; and the complex realities survivors encounter when they decide to publicly tell their stories.

Home Truth is a co-production of the Independent Television service and Latino Public Broadcasting, and has been produced with the support of The Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant, the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, the Fledgling Fund, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Independent Film Project, and the New York State Council on the Arts.