A beauty queen who bravely broke her silence on a sex attack outside a nightclub amid a campaign against sexual violence has been crowned Miss Grand England.
Solihull pageant winner Jessica Ford previously waived her right to anonymity to speak out about the ‘traumatic’ incident to urge others to seek support alongside ambassador work with The Survivors Trust.
This month, she was announced as the winner of the Miss Grand England title – and will go onto compete in Thailand with hopes of becoming Miss Grand International in December.
“So Miss Grand International is one of the biggest international televised beauty pageants in the world,” said Ms Ford, from Dorridge.
“The finals will be held in Phuket, Thailand, in December where women from all over the world will compete for the International crown.
“The campaign of Miss Grand International is ‘stop the war and violence’ and with my work as an ambassador for The Survivor’s Trust campaigning and raising awareness for sexual violence prevention and support for survivors, I felt an alignment with the campaign and pageant.
“The UK finals were held in Blackpool over a weekend with excursions and photoshoots where women from all over the country competed for the Miss Grand England title which I went on to win.”
The sexual assault survivor has raised over £30k for various charities over the past few years, later choosing to focus on raising awareness for The Survivor’s Trust. Earlier this year, she launched sexual health blog VibeOnline along with help from gynaecologist Dr Poonam Pradhan.
“It’s about doing something with your title while you have it,” she previously told BirminghamLive.
“A lot of the pageant community have really enjoyed it [the blog]. All the information we provide is factual. I’m hoping to push it even further now as it’s had a good response.
“It’s about the basics about anatomy, periods, body image, that kind of thing. It’s aimed at younger women so I’m not going to start talking about my sex life, it’s an educational blog.”
Though the blog is mainly aimed at girls aged between 12 and 18, she insists adults could also do with jogging their memory – including on the female anatomy.
“Everyone can benefit from re-touching on the basics. A lot of people don’t know about endometriosis for example. I think we can all gain insight from these things, especially as it’s all coming from a gynaecologist.”
Last year, she revealed how she ’empowered’ herself and took back ‘ownership’ of her life after she was sexually assaulted by a stranger on a night out aged just 18.
“I never spoke about what happened to me for a very long time. I don’t like to go into the gory details because I do actually think that kind of gives that person power.
“I think it’s much more powerful to say, this happened and I’m not going to talk about you and what you did to me, but I’m going to talk about how I have made a difference.”
Ms Ford will go onto compete for the international crown with her local sponsors in Thailand in December 2021.
She added: “I have chosen to work alongside ‘My Skin Spa Clinic’ ‘Arabian beauty London’ and ‘Edgbaston Smile clinic’ as sponsors for my journey to the Miss Grand international finals as I wanted to support local businesses during unprecedented times. I am also open to other local sponsors and they can contact me via Instagram message.”
Stay abreast with the very latest from our city with our Birmingham News Email Updates.