By Kyle Jillson | November 10 2012 15:05

Pageant participants practice improving personal protection

Five years ago the women vying to be crowned Miss New Mexico were taught the NRA's life-saving Refuse To Be A Victim course in preparation for the big event. Read on to see how they did and what they learned.

Miss New Mexico contestants at the NRA's Refuse To Be A Victim seminar
Rio Rancho, New Mexico - The 2007 Miss New Mexico contestants participated in the NRA’s Refuse To Be A Victim® seminar on April 1 in Rio Rancho, N.M., as part of their annual pre-pageant workshop. A total of 19 Miss New Mexico contestants and 14 of their adult sponsors took part in the seminar taught by Refuse To Be A Victim® instructor Richard Barbaras.

Christina Hall, the 2006 Miss New Mexico, was on hand to describe situations that had occurred to her, both during her official duties as Miss New Mexico as well as in her private life, that had caused her concerns about her personal safety. Using this as a springboard, Instructor Barbaras was able to relate the material in the Refuse To Be A Victim® seminar to what the contestants could be facing as they pursued not only the Miss New Mexico competition activities, but in their daily lives as well.

The seminar focused on making the participants aware of ways to assure their personal safety. The importance of constant awareness was discussed as well as ways to be safe while going about their daily lives, while traveling and while making public appearances.

The participants asked many questions and related some of their personal experiences as well. Barbaras was able to utilize their questions and experiences to emphasize the seminar material.

In their post seminar evaluations, participants said they had learned things to do to improve their safety and that they would recommend the Refuse To be A Victim® seminar to others. In a brief follow-up session on June 4, the contestants reiterated the value of the seminar and said that their level of awareness of the things around them had definitely increased.

Refuse To Be A Victim® was developed in 1993 for women by women in the NRA in response to interest on the part of women to learn ways to increase their personal safety. Immediately popular, the seminar was soon opened to men as well.

The seminar was funded through a grant in the amount of $1,520.25 provided by The NRA Foundation. The Miss New Mexico organization has indicated that they would like to have Refuse To Be A Victim® as regular part of the annual Miss New Mexico contestant workshop.

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