I survived rape – Miss Universe Jamaica contestant wants to raise awareness on sexual abuse
Last Saturday, Annecia Morgan wore the sash Miss Beauty by Tanya Hair Extensions and made the top 10 of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant. Her captivating smile and engaging personality were enough to warm the hearts of those she encountered. However, the 22-year-old’s life was not always full of laughter.
The Spanish Town native, who recently launched her foundation called Here For You, has had to overcome great odds in life, including the death of her father and being physically and s*xually assaulted by a relative.
“I am a survivor of child molestation and rape. I want to be the voice for persons who have been through this trauma, and to let them know that it’s not their fault and to not give up on their dreams” she said.
Morgan grew up between her mother and aunt in Walks Road and Old Harbour, St Catherine.
“It was a bit hard because my mother had six of us, but some of us, including myself, lived with other family members in a tenement yard. I lived with my aunt because my mom ran away from my dad because he was abusive,” she said.
At eight years old, the soft-spoken model said she was left heartbroken after her father was shot and killed. But that was just the start of childhood troubles.
When her aunt got a job opportunity in another parish, she sent her to live with her mother for a while, and that was when the abuse began.
“I was eight years old, shortly after my father passed, and I came back to live with my mom. My molester used to beat me as well, especially when he helped me with my homework. I told my mother about the beating, but I never told her he was ‘touching’ me because I was so embarrassed,” she said.
Morgan said that her mother was upset about the physical abuse and chased her abuser from the home. However, he eventually returned.
“She really cussed him out, and he wasn’t there for a good while, but he came back again and I was a bit confused as to why that happened. That’s when he actually raped me,” she said.
Things did not improve while she was a teenager, and Morgan said that she was haunted her past. This, she said, greatly impacted her academics. She, however, stated that she has placed the past behind her.
“What happened had placed a damper on my academics. I used to think about it a lot. I had to get counselling. I am over it now because I have forgiven my abuser, because it helped me to find peace within myself,” she said.
She credits the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant for helping her to find her voice and raise awareness on the matter.
“It’s not just about raising awareness about child molestation and rape, but my charity will help feed the homeless because I know what it is like to be hungry. I used to walk around and beg at times when I was younger. I understand firsthand what all of this means,” she said.