One year ago, professional wrestler Mia Yim painted her ring fingernail purple – as part of Safe Horizon’s #PutTheNailinIt campaign—to shatter the silence around the domestic abuse she says that she endured. She detailed her past struggle with domestic violence in a HuffPost article, making waves in the wrestling world and on the internet. It started a conversation, showing that survivors come from all walks of life and they all deserve support.
Mia never imagined that just one year after sharing and reliving some of her most difficult moments with domestic violence, she would go on to achieve a childhood dream that often felt unattainable: wrestling for the WWE. Mia is scheduled to take part in the WWE Mae Young Classic, a first-ever all-women’s tournament, airing Aug. 28th at 9/8C on the WWE Network. In her entrance, she has incorporated the purple nail—a reminder not only that she survived, but that she fights for domestic violence survivors everywhere.
Today, Mia feels more powerful than ever and sat down with Huffington Post once again to discuss how the last year sharing her story of domestic violence has been for her. Here are some highlights:
On how her year has been since sharing her story:
“Incredible! I am shocked with how far and wide the story went. So often we only hear stories of the abuser, and when a survivor does come forward, they are blamed with, “She’s just lying and looking for attention,” or “Why didn’t she just leave?” I did get some of those comments, but I tried to ignore the negativity and focus on the amazing support I did get from so many fans and wrestlers. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I wasn’t alone.”
On what has been one of the most memorable reactions to her sharing her story:
“I had a show in Canada last year and after my match, the referee came up to me and hugged me. He said, “Thank you!” I was so naïve—I responded with “Thanks. It was a great match!” And that’s when I saw tears in his eyes. He corrected me and said, “No, thank you. My mother was a victim of domestic violence. She and I both thank you for speaking out.” I realized in that moment that even though he didn’t experience it directly, as a son it still impacted him to the point of tears. That really stuck with me.”
On how she thinks wrestling has evolved around the issue of domestic violence:
“It’s a work in progress. But 10 years ago, I probably wouldn’t be wrestling after coming forward. I spoke to veteran female wrestlers like Madusa/Alunda Blayze and she said back then it was really different. You couldn’t talk about domestic violence at all. And I think that was not only true in wrestling, but our society as a whole. I think the culture is starting to shift little by little. We can talk about it more openly. It’s not the victim’s fault.”
On being apart of the upcoming WWE Mae Young Classic:
“It was a dream come true. I’m excited for everyone to see it. Women for so long have fought to be taken as serious athletes and not just “eye candy,” and so this validates us as equals to the men. I also made sure to incorporate the purple nail into my entrance, because my experience with domestic violence has been a big part of my journey. I want to show other survivors you can still achieve your dreams after an abusive relationship. Lita [WWE hall of famer and announcer for the tournament] was actually my childhood hero and inspiration for me to get into wrestling. After I told her my story, she said, ‘Hey, do you have purple nail polish?’ She didn’t have to do that. That blew me away. I look up to her even more now.”
You can read the full article here.
You can find more information about #PutTheNailinIt here.