“Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” is the message that Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, will impart at the University of the Virgin Islands on Friday, Jan. 22. Kazantsev, an advocate for women, will share her personal story of survival and raise awareness of domestic violence. Her goal is to reinforce the message that it’s time to end domestic violence. The event will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., in Business Building, room 110, on the St. Thomas Campus. Kazantsev’s address will be teleconferenced to the Melvin Evans Center, room 401, on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. The community is invited to attend.
The Family Resource Center, Inc. (FRC) invited Miss America to the territory as part of their annual Peacemaker Gala and have partnered with UVI to bring Kazantsev to the University’s campuses.
“Ms. Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015, is a powerful advocate for those who are the victims of domestic violence, and her reign enlightened the world about the consequences of this pervasive and crippling crime against humanity,” UVI President David Hall said. “In a year where UVI has launched an awareness program about the dangers of sexual misconduct, it is very appropriate to have Miss America share this special message with our students, faculty and staff.”
“Family Resource Center board, staff and volunteers, along with the Peacemaker Committee, is thrilled to have Kira Kazantsev, Miss America 2015 in our territory,” said Vivian St. Juste, Family Resource Center, Inc. executive director. “We applaud her for sharing her experiences and for encouraging others to seek help as victims of domestic violence.” She continued, “We believe that sharing this opportunity with area schools and the University of the Virgin Islands further expands our community partnerships and awareness.”
“In the Virgin Islands there are organizations and individuals who care for our most vulnerable people,” said President Hall. “The Family Resource Center is a haven for those who have been abused, neglected and marginalized by forces not of their making. Through the visionary leadership of Vivian St. Juste, FRC’s light is shining more brightly and caring for those who find themselves in the dark clutches of domestic violence.”
The University of the Virgin Islands is honored to partner with FRC in its mission, and we are thankful that Vivian and her staff has allowed us to work with them to improve their Serenity Garden and thus their outstanding service to our community, said President Hall.
Kazantsev, who won the Miss America 2015 title on Sept. 14, 2014, ran on the platform “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” and as Miss America she launched this domestic violence campaign. One in four women and one in seven men fall victim to domestic violence each year, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Kazantsev has been a long-time partner with Safe Horizon, the largest provider of domestic violence services in the country. She recently received their “Voice of Empowerment” award. She worked with Safe Horizon to create the “Put The Nail In It” #PutTheNailInIt campaign, which has reached over 20 million people, encouraging them to show their support against domestic violence.
Show your support against domestic violence on social media with the hashtags #PutTheNailInIt and #VowToEndIt.