Brave Miss World is the story of Linor Abargil. At the age of 18 she was abducted, stabbed, and raped in Milan, Italy. Six weeks later she represented Israel in the Miss World competition and won. “After being crowned Miss World, the story of my rape was uncovered by the Italian press. The next day the affair was reported in the international media, and overnight I became the face of rape victims around the world,” Linor states on her web site.
Brave Miss World is available on Netflix and it’s a powerful story by an amazing person. A press release on the site says that Linor is now a “globe-trotting victims’ advocate and encourages others to stand against sexual violence by putting an end to their silence.”
In the film she travels to speak with teens in South Africa, where girls are statistically more likely to be raped than educated. She visits U.S. college campuses where women describe a campus culture that fails to take assaults seriously. Hearing the stories shared was heartbreaking.
One woman says a police officer kept telling how cute the guy was and if maybe she just had a moment of weakness. Victim blaming has no borders. When Rehtaeh died I read a comment online that said the boys were all really good-looking guys and how could she have helped herself.
Linor also returns to Italy for the first time since her rape, in an attempt to face her fears and to find the prosecutor who collaborated with Israeli authorities to arrest the serial rapist. While there, in an extraordinary twist of fate, she meets up with another woman raped by the same man in eerily identical circumstances. To watch how that played out was unbelievable. It came down to deciding where they were going to eat after their first choice didn’t work out. Fate.
“For victims of sexual assault, the journey toward wholeness never ends.” Nor will the support from those who love them.
Brave Miss World is a powerful movie. I urge everyone to watch it.
And then do something about it.