Katy Clatterbaugh TAKING A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KATY CLATTERBAUGH MRS. USA UNIVERSE 2019
ou may be aware that domestic violence is a major issue in the United States. After all, it is the leading cause of injury to women in this country. What you might not be familiar with is emotional abuse, which is the most common form of partner abuse that has staggering statistics of its own. For example, one in three girls will be in a controlling, abusive dating relationship before graduating high school, and 39 percent of women report experiencing emotional abuse in a relationship in the past five years. Katy Clatterbaugh, Mooresville resident and the newly crowned Mrs. USA Universe 2019, is all too familiar with the problem of intimate partner abuse— and stopping it is the cause she has chosen to champion during her reign. During her early twenties, Katy was in a relationship with an abuser who put a GPS tracker on her car and controlled what she could wear and who she could spend time with. He wore away at her self-confidence, even convincing her that no one else could ever love her. At that time, though, she did not realize she was being abused, much less that there were resources available to help her. Thankfully, Katy attended a Women for Courage luncheon, and her eyes were opened. “I heard the stories of survivors—and those who didn’t survive—and it clicked,” she recalls. Though it was not easy, Katy is one of the lucky ones because she got out before the relationship became violent. Unfortunately, many women do not. Had Katy been educated about what constitutes an abusive relationship, she believes she would have left the relationship much sooner. That’s why she has made the implementation of educational programs that teach the warning signs of abusive relationships to young adults her mission. “Hearing the stories of so many victims has been powerful. It is my duty to share these stories and change the stigma of domestic violence,” she says. Ideally, it is her hope that others will find the strength to walk away as she did.
"It is my duty to these stories and the stigma of domestic violence."
While Katy’s duties as Mrs. USA Universe demand a busy traveling schedule, she still manages to run an international wedding photography business, Katheryn Jeanne Photography. But her foremost priorities are in Mooresville: her husband, Chad, and her 5-year-old son, Camden. “There is no other way I’d prefer to spend my time than being with my family,” she asserts. “The memories we make together set my heart on fire.” w
WRITER DANA NIETERS
December 2019 Lake Norman Woman Magazine