A beauty pageant hopeful was so horrifically harassed by a man that she was too terrified to leave her house.
Rajnie Kaur Uppal, who is in the running to represent Great Britain at Miss Universe, suffered two years of hell at the hands of a friend’s partner while at university.
The 25-year-old, a finalist in the international competition, was hounded with nuisance texts and regularly received verbal abuse.
As a result, she withdrew from her friends and family and became confined to her bedroom.
Rajnie was then forced to live in three different homes in just six months simply to escape, leaving her feeling incredibly isolated.
But thankfully, she found a way to overcome the ordeal and empower other women going through the same difficulties.
Rajnie, from Cheshire, told MEN: “When I was experiencing my harassment I really felt like I was in need of an outlet.
“When you go through something like that, it can feel like you don’t have a voice.
“So I started writing poetry in my room and it really was my saving grace.
“It reminded me of how powerful my voice was.”
After sharing her first poem about gender stereotypes on Instagram under the name rajniewrites, she was flooded with messages from women who related to her words.
“It was a massive turning point for me,” Rajnie said.
“I felt part of something. It’s important to have a group of strong women around you, and actually it is something that is needed.
“My whole advocacy now is about creating safe spaces for other women where they don’t feel alone.”
Rajnie, a public sector worker, now spends her free time performing at spoken word events and hosting workshops.
She also holds “poetry and prosecco” nights in aid of A-Sisterhood, a UK-based organization that seeks to empower, support and protect women worldwide, for people to share their stories.
But her focus right now is on the Miss Universe Great Britain finals next month.
Rajnie, who says she is proud to be representing women of color as a Punjabi Sikh woman, is going for gold.
“Black and brown women are beautiful and deserve to see representation,” she said.
“I am here to challenge colorism and Eurocentric beauty standards.
“We haven’t had an Indian woman win Miss Universe Great Britain yet so I would be honored to be the first.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced here with permission.