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Local Miss Georgia Teen advocates for domestic violence awareness

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Kristine Hale. Contributed Photo

During her first pageant experience, Kristine Hale took her dazzling smile to the big leagues with the recent Miss Georgia Teen USA Pageant in Cartersville. Behind that smile is a girl from Chickamauga who loves her family and community, and who just wants to live big and take others along for the ride.

“One thing I think sets me apart is I strive to be different and an example for others,” said Hale. “Everyone is living their own story; we should make it big and beautiful and not be afraid to make mistakes. Do whatever you can to live your fullest.”

A big part of her story includes volunteering at the Sexual Assault Crisis and Resource Center doing whatever needs to be done, from taking care of the children whose parents go to the center to doing paperwork and moving furniture. For her platform at the pageant as part of the interview portion, Hale said she is passionate about spreading awareness of domestic and sexual violence among girls and guys her own age.

“[By volunteering at the crisis center] I’ve been around the issue of domestic and sexual violence so much,” she said. “The statistics are so high for girls my age — one in five high school girls admits to being abused by a boyfriend. It is something I need to let other people know about, and since I am a teenager it makes other girls my age realize if someone is making a stand, they should too.”

Hale’s mother Lydia, who works at the crisis center, is supportive of her daughter’s passion.

“I am glad she has this passion because one of the things we hear more about is teen violence,” said Hale’s mom. “We need to get girls to talk about it. We know it’s going on but no one’s saying anything.”

Hale is also involved with groups at her high school, Gordon Lee. She cheers and is a member of several clubs, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FFA, Spanish Club — Hale comes from a Latino background on her mother’s side — and Drama Club.

“Acting is a huge part of my life,” said Hale, who graduated from Barbizon USA-Modeling and Acting School after her freshman year. “I’m just very active everywhere. I can’t sit still, which is a good thing.”

She said she thoroughly enjoyed her first pageant experience several weeks ago and would love to be involved with more in the future.

“The one thing that struck me about that pageant was that every girl was gorgeous and kindhearted,” said Hale. “Everybody had each other’s back. I enjoyed every bit of it … getting to connect with 51 other girls that feel the same way I do [about life].”

She said the pageant was a family and community affair, as she received a large amount of support from both.

Hale can be reached at misschickamauga@yahoo.com.

Take a stand

To learn about abuse and what you can do to stop it visit www.loveisrespect.org.

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