Being Miss Missouri may sound glamorous, but Amber Etheridge has another tale to tell, and it’s not so enchanting.
Four years before becoming Miss Missouri 2003, Etheridge was the victim of acquaintance rape. Now she shares her story in her campaign to help protect other women from this crime.
Etheridge will be at William Woods University March 2 to speak at 7 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. Her speech is sponsored by Students for Social Work, in conjunction with Social Work Month. It is free and open to the public.
In the months following her January 1999 attack, Etheridge struggled with feelings of depression and anger. She had to learn to deal with the criminal justice system and pressure from her own peer group, her family and the media.
Acquaintance rape is one of the most underreported crimes in the world. As Miss Missouri, Etheridge has been able to travel the state educating others about the crime and its prevention.
Etheridge is a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University, where she earned a bachelor of arts in crime and society. She plans to continue her education after completing her term as Miss Missouri. Her goal is to earn a law degree so she can expand her work for victim’s rights.
For more information about the speech, contact George Garner, associate professor of social work, at (573) 592-4366.