In the summer of 2021, I graduated college, was accepted into a paralegal program, and competed at Miss South Carolina. I was at the top of the world and was ready for big changes in my life. What I didn’t realize was the biggest change that summer, I could not have foreseen. I was raped. Not only did I have to deal with the trauma of my assault but the lack of care in the criminal justice system. Sexual assault affects over a half a million people over the age of 12 every year and people of all generations and genders are victims of this crime. Together we can change attitudes associated with victims of sexual assault and the behaviors of law enforcement and the justice system. We need initiatives such as increasing trauma informed care, ending the backlog of rape kits, and inspiring allies through active bystander intervention.
I am not defined by the assault and I know now that I am not alone. I am no longer a victim but a survivor who has become an advocate. We can Shatter The Cycle. Please join me in supporting survivors and ending rape culture.
Jill meets with South Carolina’s United States Senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.