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Beauty with spunk

How Annecia Morgan overcame adversity

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer writer

Thursday, August 30, 2018

 

ANNECIA Morgan, a finalist in the recent Miss Universe Jamaica pageant, went through a terrifying ordeal 14 years ago. One that haunted her for years and challenged her confidence.

She was raped.

The Jamaica Observer spoke to Morgan following the contest which took place last Friday. The 22-year-old was open about the incident which happened when she was eight years-old, and encouraged women who have suffered a similar indignity, to take a stand against sexual assault, and continue to pursue their dreams.

“We should take a stand against those terrible actions caused by cruel souls. And for those who have been through this trauma, please be strong and not give up on your dreams and aspirations,” said Morgan. “Just know that there is a God above and if I can do it so can you. It is okay to say you're not okay. Do not keep it bottled up inside, it's not about how you started your journey but it's how you finish.”

Morgan made the top 10 of the Miss Universe Jamaica East pageant, and qualified for eliminations for Miss Universe Jamaica. At last week's grand coronation, she finished in the top 14 and won the sectional prize for Runway Star.

Being part of the contest was therapeutic.

“The Miss Universe Jamaica organisation is like a family away from family. They were supportive of my cause and very helpful when advice and motivation was required,” Morgan explained. “Being named Runway Star, it signified that I'm a natural when it comes to the runway and I shouldn't stop believing in myself that I will be one day become a supermodel. I just need proper management. I honestly felt that all of us contestants rocked the stage very well so when I won that sectional prize I felt pleased and I took it as a sign and a motivation to keep going.”

Morgan's attacker was apprehended. She received professional counselling from the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Like many rape victims, she went through a period of uncertainty, including not trusting men. She credits counselling with rebuilding her focus and said “things improved for the better.”

Last week, the police disclosed that 170 rapes have been reported in Jamaica this year. There were over 330 reported cases of sexual assault in the country last year.

Annecia Morgan is concentrating on launching a modelling career as well as her charity, Here For You Foundation. Its objective is to assist homeless persons and sexually abused children and women.