Miss International 2012, Ikumi Yoshimatsu courageously speaks out to publicly expose the “culture of silence” surrounding stalking and violence against women.
Imagine turning on your television to watch a beauty pageant. Talented, beautiful individuals from across the globe compete for a prestigious world title and a crown that symbolizes national pride, success, achievement and admiration. However, after we turn off the television and the winner steps down from the stage, aside from the honor of wearing the crown, most of us never consider the challenges that may await the new titleholder.
Miss International 2012, Ikumi Yoshimatsu -Japan’s first world title holder in the 52-year history of the pageant discovered all too quickly the darker side of victory. Her anticipated year of national pride and success twisted into a nightmare played out in the eyes of the world. Rather than be pressured into silence, Ikumi courageously spoke out. Publicly exposing the “culture of silence” toward stalking and violence against women, Ikumi raised what has been a carefully concealed injustice to national and global attention.