Nia Sanchez from Nevada may have taken the Miss USA 2014 crown in Baton Rouge Louisiana, but she’s still under fire from some feminists. Asked what she would do to combat the epidemic of sexual assault against young women, Nia Sanchez suggested women “learn to protect themselves.”
Some critics felt this implied that women are responsible for preventing violence against them, but Nia later defended her controversial answer thusly: “We have 30 seconds to answer a question,” she said. “I feel like all you can do up on that stage on national television is answer the best you personally know.”
“I answered with something that I know. I always believe in women’s empowerment and encouragement and for me, in my life, that’s self defense.”
“Maybe for somebody else it’s a Taser or something else,” said the fourth-degree tae kwon do black belt, “but that’s the way I could relate to it personally.”
Miss USA 2014 acknowledged that teaching women how to throw a punch does not prevent men from attempting assault, but it can’t hurt either.
“Unfortunately, the world we live in is not always as safe as it could be,” she said, but martial arts can help one be more “confident to escape a scary situation.”
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 16: Miss USA Nia Sanchez with Miss Universe Gabriela Isler and Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf tour New York City on Gray Line bus on June 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/WireImage)