BY HEATHER J. CHIN AND LINDSEY ELLEFSON
In keeping with her pageant platform, Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan has partnered with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and the Crimes Against Children Bureau to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.
On February 28, the college student and Park Slope resident read a story to a group of children, some of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, who excitedly tried on her crystal crown.
While there, Hagan, 23, recorded a Public Service Announcement on the issue; watch it here:
“It’s a crime that can impact anyone,” she said. “I know because members of my own family were victims.”
Hagan and Hynes have both stated publicly that their mothers were victims of abuse and that this type of crime affects every member of the family.
“When I first learned that the platform Miss Hagan had chosen for her reign was child sexual abuse awareness and prevention, my Crimes Against Children Bureau invited her to partner with our office to raise awareness about this important cause,” said Hynes.
In 1997, Hynes was the first D.A. in the nation to create a Crimes Against Children Bureau.
Hagan advocates openness and communication as the most effective means of combating the issue.
Hagan has made the issue of child sexual abuse awareness and prevention a central platform of her Miss America, and previously Miss New York, campaigns. The cause is dear to her heart as it hits close to home. She has frequently shared the personal stories and experiences of women in her family in order to encourage others to take a stand.
Hagan is a Park Slope resident and Alabama native who is studying Advertising & Marketing with a focus on Cosmetic & Fragrance Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Other organizations that she supports include Stop It Now!, Darkness to Light and Safe Horizon.
If you know a child in immediate danger, dial 911, and if you suspect any children in your life of being victims of abuse, call the State Central Register at 1-800-342-3720.