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This story was copied and pasted from the following website http://ow.ly/J9Xr4  
I take no credit for the content. My sincere admiration and love goes to Linor Abargil for her years of counseling and fighting against the cowardly,  violent and sometimes deadly crime of rape. Love and support also goes to my many friends who have been victims and bear the lifelong scars of rape.

 

Linor’s Story

I was 18 years old when I became Miss Israel in March of 1998, and was sent to represent my country in the Miss World Competition. A month and a half before the contest, while I was modeling in Italy, I was brutally raped by an Israeli travel agent, and in November of that year, the world saw me cry onstage in the Seychelles Islands when I was crowned Miss World.

Immediately after the rape I called my mother, and with her support I went to the police station and the hospital in Rome to report the crime and undergo a medical exam. When I returned to Israel, we were asked to keep the matter quiet in order not to deter the rapist from coming to Israel where Israeli police, in co-operation with Italian authorities, were waiting to apprehend him.

Those weeks of silence were particularly hard on me in view of the upcoming Miss World pageant. I was scared to leave home and did not want to go. But with my mother’s encouragement, I did agree to represent my country. 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.

Fortunately, the rapist failed to read the headlines and was arrested at the Tel-Aviv airport when he tried to return to Israel. While I was trying to recover from the trauma of the rape, I faced a trial that generated extensive press coverage. During the trial, I had to relive the events, and face the rapist’s denials. I advised other women not to be afraid of reporting their rapes, and to seek punishment for the perpetrators. As a result, there was an increase in the rate of rape victims reporting the crime in Israel.

After the trial ended in October of 1999 with the conviction and imprisonment of the rapist, I stopped talking about the rape publicly. I had to figure out how to heal. I found it helpful to study drama and to I sought rehabilitation through introspection and therapy.

Upon finishing my drama studies, I started working in theater in Tel Aviv. I was cast in “The Blue Room”, in the role played by Nicole Kidman in London and New York.

In 2006, I got married to an NBA player Sarunas Jasikevius, and moved to Los Angeles. The marriage didn’t work out and we divorced after a year. I returned to Israel and enrolled in law school. I hope to use my law degree to represent women who are victims of sexual violence. In 2008 I launched this website and started speaking out about rape. In August of 2010, I got married to Oron Kalfon, who is my partner, my friend and my true love. With his support and the support of my family, I have been documenting my journey and in the film I tell my own story, without shame, as I reach out to other women around the world, encouraging them to tell theirs.

– Linor

Comments
  1. erikakind says:

    It is wonderful what she made out of her experiences. She did not break down but helps others. That’s meant when said that we can build bridges out of the stones thrown in our way.

    Like

  2. Congratulations on turning a horrible event into something that gives you strength. Well done.

    Like

  3. Dennis, my observations which follow are offered from one who’s been somewhere similar, & they are based on a film about Linor which I viewed recently. The film may have skewed some things, so I put that forward as a possible caveat.
    Based on this film alone, if you follow brave Linor further, you find that she has converted to a conservative form of her religion of choice, which seems to inherently treat women’s sexuality as dangerous and to be fairly rigidly controlled. How to do this is dictated by male religious leaders, while the effect of a woman’s sexuality on men is somehow implied to be her responsibility & her job to manage. The deep ambiguity and inherent contradiction of this set of views for a victim of rape, left me feeling, poignantly, that Linor is even braver than we thought – a woman never fully healed of a deep PTSD who has now moved herself towards self-suppression, hoping to find dependable safety within the justifying structure of a spirituality that embraces sex role rules & stereotyping. Rape is a crime that may go on and on and on – Linor’s tale seems so far to be one that is continuously heart-rending, beautiful, horrifying, complex… and an ongoing to tribute to the drive of a human spirit to try to heal herself however she can. I wish blessings on her journey, even as she seeks to bless others thrust onto a similar awful path.
    The conclusion, I think, is that one need not be perfectly healed, nor perfect, to reach out. There will always be someone needing exactly what you currently have to share.

    Like

    • Beautifully stated. I too viewed the movie and questioned Linor’s sudden immersion into religion, even though her husband did not appear to be a believer, but merely followed her wishes.

      I certainly admire her for studying law as part of her mission to help other women who have suffered similar trauma.

      I truly hope that one day we can all be seen and treated as equals with respect and dignity.

      Thank you, Robyn, for your words that will surely speak to many women and, I hope, men. The barbarism that is taking place in the world today is horrifying. Most horrifying is the fact that it is supported and encouraged by governments, religious bodies, traditions and terrorists.

      Like

  4. Daniela S. says:

    Having narrowly escaped a rape myself, I remember the shock and then suspicion that entered my life and I cannot begin to imagine what my life would have been like had it gone the other way. Whatever enables Linor to live a life that makes her feel ‘whole’ again is a good thing – even if external eyes see it differently.

    Like

  5. rolandlegge says:

    What an amazing story of courage. I am thankful you were able to stand up for yourself and so help thousands of women from around the world to speak out against this and demand change in attitudes.

    Like

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