Ariel Zwang, CEO Safe Horizon: Kira, why did you choose to speak about domestic violence as your public advocacy platform for the Miss America organization?
Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York: Through the Miss America Organization, I have the opportunity and responsibility to bring significant public advocacy to an issue.
The abuser terrorizes his or her victim using physical force, coercion or threats, and takes advantage of a person he or she claims to care for.He was popular, and at the time I felt like he'd chosen me. But six months later, when I looked around, I was isolated from my friends and family and he had become my whole world. I felt like I had done something to make him treat me like that.Eventually I realized I was experiencing domestic violence.The university environment can further exacerbate the fear associated with domestic violence.
A victim of domestic violence may feel that coming forward would threaten her or his social reputation, or would “ruin the life” of a prominent campus figure (though, of course, it was that prominent figure who broke the law).I'd like to share the story of Kira Kazantsev, who was recently crowned Miss New York 2014 and who is raising public awareness about domestic violence.