In 1998, Linor Abargil, the reigning Miss Israel, was crowned Miss World. Seven weeks before her coronation, she was brutally raped at knifepoint by a trusted travel agent, while a passenger in his car.
With strong backing from her parents as well as a growing number of supporters, she set herself two goals: to see her attacker brought to justice and to become a global advocate in the fight against sexual violence. The attacker was eventually brought to trial and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
From left: Linor Abargil outside the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem in “Brave Miss World.” Photo courtesy of “Brave Miss World,” and Abargil after winning the 1998 Miss World contest in Mahe Beach, Seychelles. Photo by Alexander Joe/AFP/Newscom
Five years ago, Abargil met filmmaker Cecilia Peck, daughter of actor Gregory Peck. They met with other rape survivors and created a documentary about the long term psychological effects of rape.
The result of their work is the award-winning documentary “Brave Miss World,” which opened in Los Angeles on November 15, 2013.
Abargil has now enlisted thousands of women in her campaign against sexual violence and is expected to reach many more through screenings of “Brave Miss World.”
Professionally, Abargil went to law school and is now working as a lawyer for the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s office.
Peck fervently hopes that many men will view the film, and that their girlfriends or wives will bring them along. “Women already know this story, it’s the men who are shocked,” Peck said. “Men must realize that rape changes the victim’s life forever, and fathers must teach their sons to respect women.”
CLICK HERE To learn more about this important documentary and view a trailer
Many organizations are hosting screenings of the documentary nationally and internationally.