Johannesburg – South Africa's Miss World representative Sasha-Lee Olivier on Monday revealed her Beauty with a Purpose campaign for the international pageant at a conference in Sandton, Johannesburg.
The beauty queen, who placed second at the Miss South Africa 2019 pageant, unveiled her #ItsNotYourFault campaign which aims to support victims of sexual abuse.
Speaking about her project in a statement to the press, Sasha-Lee, who was a victim of sexual abuse herself as a child, said: "A very deep sense of shame accompanies rape and long-term sexual abuse. Those who have suffered at the hands of the predators feel responsible for their own abuse and are profoundly ashamed of what is happening, or has happened, to them. We need to desperately change the status quo regarding this – the shame does not belong to the victim at all."
As part of her campaign, she will distribute "Rape Comfort Packs" to victims of sexual assault. "I hope these Rape Comfort Packs provide many basic hygiene products, a teddy bear, sugar, and a personalised card assuring them the attack is not their fault – offering a moment of dignity to the wounded soul in what possibly could be the worst moments of their lives," she explains.
The comfort packs seek to support victims on an emotional level "as that was one of the things she [Sasha-Lee] wished for when reporting her case," the statement reads.
The 2019 Miss World pageant takes place on 14 December in London. Should Sasha-Lee bring home the Miss World title, she will run with her #ItsNotYourFault campaign throughout her reign with the backing of the Miss World organisation.
Compiled by Nikita Coetzee