A Miss England finalist who was attacked on a night out has been left shaken by the ordeal – but she isn’t going to let it negatively impact her.
Corel-Jo Antwhistle, 21, from Newcastle, first entered Miss England in early 2021 and took part in a virtual heat on the Miss England App.
The reigning Miss Newcastle was chosen as a wildcard entry for last year's semi-final in London.
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Now the 21-year-old – who wants to eventually join the Met Police – is using her platform to bring attention to a different cause.
Corel-Jo has started a task force to protect women on nights out after she was attacked one night in Newcastle city centre.
After enjoying themselves at a nightclub, they called in at a McDonalds to order a takeaway. While standing at the counter, Corel-Jo was kicked from behind by a hooded male.
“I was in complete disbelief because it was so unprovoked. I had my back to this man, I hadn't noticed him come in so there was no eye contact. And then he kicks me in the back of the leg,” she told Daily Star.
“So I turn around and my first thoughts are that I know I can't win this argument, I went straight to security.”
Corel-Jo says the security guard looked at her before turning away, ignoring her completely.
She didn’t speak to her attacker but decided to return to where she was standing before she heard the stranger call her a ‘snitch’ for talking to security.
The Miss England finalist added: “He had his hood up and that made me weary as I could tell he was scanning for cameras.”
Thinking quickly, she took a photograph of the assailant on her mobile phone. He then hit Corel-Jo in the face and wrestled with her to steal the phone, ripping her fingernails in the process.
“As I turned he hit me in the face, cutting my lip open. The pure shock was the main thing, I hadn't done anything to this man, I hadn't done anything offensive, he was a total stranger to me,” she explained.
“I've worn acrylic nails for the past six years; I've loved them and can't live without them! When the attacker took my phone from me, he bent back my nails on both hands, lifting my nails from the nail bed.
“It was the worst pain ever. I've had to let my nails grow out since this happened as I couldn't deal with the pain of pressure on my nails.
“Little things became difficult because of the sensitivity like getting dressed, putting my coat on, washing my hands and so on.”
The attack was caught on CCTV and through ID checks with the nightclub, the male was identified and tracked to a London address and now faces arrest.
This all took place a week before Christmas and Corel-Jo told us that Northumbria police were incredible in the ways that they helped her.
The female officer working her case went to the nightclub to retrieve a photocopy of the assailant’s ID and collected statements and witness statements.
Sadly, the attack has affected Corel-Jo more than she would have liked.
“I used to be extremely social and loved spending time with my friends. This whole experience has changed the way I view my free time and I haven't been out in Newcastle since,” she shared.
“In total, I've only left the house twice without a family member since the attack because of how unnerving the situation has been.”
Determined to stop other women from going through the same experience, Corel-Jo has launched a female protection group named Think Us.
Members will patrol the bars and nightclubs in the centre of Newcastle at night to offer help and assistance to females who seem vulnerable.
They will be handing out water, snacks, blankets and flip-flops and they will always have someone trained in first aid with them.
“We will wait with you until you find your friends if you are alone and we can escort you to the ambulance services, we will help you in any way we can,” Corel-Jo said.
“Think Us is so important because I know it can help people. I want to be able to be the difference. To be the change.
“I've waited for society to change and I've grown impatient of the slow growth. Every year we hear about more women killed, targeted and sexually assaulted, it happens to so many that it doesn't shock us when it comes on the news anymore.
“I can't stop all violence and attacks on women but I'll definitely try and will try my best to be there for the women who need help.
“I'm going to gradually create a Think Us in every city in England.”
You can find out more about Think Us here.
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