Weeks before Linor Abargil was crowned Miss World 1998, she was brutally raped while modeling in Italy.
Years later, in the documentary Brave Miss World, director Cecilia Peck followed Abargil as she confronted her rapist and encouraged other women to speak out about their own stories of rape.
The film highlights Abargil’s journey from her Miss World crowning to her global advocacy efforts against rape.
Peck says following incident, Abargil was collecting DNA evidence for a case against her rapist and dealing with trauma, all the while competing in the Miss World pageant.
“To her utter shock, she ended up winning the crown. And the footage of her with tears streaming down her face as she’s being crowned tells the story that no one else knew. But she vowed to herself that night to one day tell her story and speak out for other survivors.”
Alison Hall, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, says the number one reason victims do not come forward is the fear of not being believed. She finds that while “rape culture” is still prevalent, victim blaming has become less common thanks to films like Brave Miss World and other efforts that expose the culture for what it is.
“Victims have to heal and one of the first steps to that is actually admitting that it happened,” said Hall.
Brave Miss World is screening in Pittsburgh on Thursday April 3rd at the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside.
Resources for victims of rape or sexual violence:
- Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) Hotline 1-866-3637273
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
- The Center for Victims Hotline 1-866-644-2882
Rodef Shalom CongregationRodef Shalom Congregation