by Devi Jags · 13 Apr 2020 · 5 min read
Some outfits will forever remain ingrained in our subconscious long after we remove the clothes from our bodies. These articles of clothing often remind us of pivotal memories, from the first day of middle school to our senior prom. If you are fortunate, your garment will never carry traumatic memories, but for those who are victims of rape escaping these memories is almost impossible.
As it turns out, relationship abuse does not discriminate. Domestic violence can happen to any woman of any race, religion, education level, income, or age. A victim of relationship abuse can look like anyone — even Miss New Jersey USA.
In early March, stay-at-home orders were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly people across the world were instructed to quarantine at home. For most people, inside the walls of their home is a place of security and solace. For others, home can be a dangerous place of abuse.In an instant, domestic violence victims around the world became isolated with their abusers causing domestic violence reports to increase by 35% in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. With social isolation and the stress of the unknown, the coronavirus pandemic started to breed dangerous situations at home where violence may have never previously shown its face. Domestic violence quickly became an epidemic within the pandemic.
With just a few more days until I complete for this year’s Miss USA title while representing my beloved state and home of New Jersey, I’ve been taking the time to reflect on my journey behind the sash.