New Miss South Africa: "I survived sexual abuse"

New Miss South Africa: "I survived sexual abuse"

Our brand new Miss South Africa is Sasha-Lee Laurel Oliver. She joined Breakfast with Martin Bester to talk about her journey as Miss South Africa.

Miss South Africa 2019 Sasha-Lee Laurel Oliver
Wesley Rhode

Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier, 26, is the new Miss South Africa. She assumes the mantle from titleholder Zozibini Tunzi, who was crowned Miss Universe in December 2019.

Sasha-Lee said she is thrilled to wear the Miss South Africa crown.

“I am so happy for Zozi who deserves, in every way, to wear the Miss Universe sash. I wish her every success. I step into big shoes. I just want Zozi to know that I will do my best to fill them," she says.

“Taking over the Miss South Africa title means that I am able to continue working to help women who, like me, have been sexually abused. It will be a top priority for me during my time as Miss South Africa.”

She intends to continue to devote her time to 'The Beauty with a Purpose' campaign that she took to the Miss World pageant in December 2019.

ALSO READ: South Africa welcomes brand new Miss South Africa 2019

Sasha-Lee’s #itsnotyourfault campaign is aimed at making sure that people who, like her, have endured sexual assault know that they are not to blame for their abuse.

As a survivor of rape and sexual abuse, Sasha-Lee’s campaign is designed to support, inspire, and help girls, boys, women, and men.

"I survived sexual abuse. I've been thinking about it, it took me 18 years to talk about it," she adds.

"It was my core focus. I had to share it with millions of people.

"Those who have suffered at the hands of the predators and perpetrators feel responsible for their own abuse, and are profoundly ashamed of what is happening, or has happened, to them.

“We need to change the commonly held perception regarding this – the shame does not lie with the victim at all.”

*She has joined forces with Penny Stein and the Angel Network to identify sexual abuse hot spots and provide Rape Comfort Kits.

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