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Linor Abargil

A national heroine in Israel, Linor Abargil was crowned Miss World in November 1998. A month and a half before the Miss World competition, she had suffered a brutal rape while modeling in Italy. After the subsequent trial, which resulted in a 16-year prison sentence for her rapist, the young Linor made a public statement before the entire nation of Israel, counseling other women to not be afraid of reporting their rapes, and to seek punishment for the perpetrators. She then returned to a private process of healing, but resolved to one day do something about the crime of rape.

Linor immersed herself in drama studies and was soon discovered and cast in leading roles in Tel Aviv. She continued to perform on stage and to write and record music, while pursuing a law degree. In 2008, she launched a website and a speaking tour to encourage victims of rape to speak out, not to blame themselves, and not to stay silent. In 2013, Linor graduated law school with honors, and started an internship with the Tel Aviv District Attorney. She intends to use her law degree to represent women who are victims of sexual violence. Brave Miss World, the documentary about Linor's life and speaking tour, in which she tells her own story and reaches out to rape survivors around the world, premiered in Washington, D.C. in June 2013. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014, and is now playing in film festivals and on TV around the world.

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