Marine Corps Spouse Wins Title of Mrs. California
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Elizabeth Peace, Marine Corps spouse, federal employee and child advocate, was crowned Mrs. California America 2021 at the Fox Events Center in Redlands. She’ll represent the Golden State when she goes on to compete for the national title of Mrs. America.
Peace, age 41 and mother of two boys, is using her title as Mrs. California to bring awareness to the No. 1 health epidemic facing children: child sexual abuse. Every 73 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Every 9 minutes that person is a child. One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
“I am the one in 10, but even more difficult is being a parent and having this happen in your own family,” Peace said. “Our military members are sacrificing everything for our nation, but they shouldn’t have to sacrifice the safety of their children. As a military community, we need to do a better job protecting the children of our heroes.”
Peace teaches an evidenced-based program that addresses child sexual abuse through the international non-profit Darkness to Light. Since 2012, she has provided this class to parents, legislators, educators and community members tasked with keeping children safe, with an emphasis on teaching military families. The two-hour class focuses on learning the facts about child sex abuse, preventing child sex abuse and what to do if you learn it has happened. Peace has taught these courses to parents, educators, mayors and prosecutors and is available to teach them groups, city governments, businesses and individuals.
In 2017, seeing the need for training in military communities with child sexual abuse being the No. 1 reason for federal incarceration of former service members, she and her husband created Operation Innocence and the Sgt. BARK Body Boundaries Coloring Book.
“We’re on a mission to educate adults on how to recognize the signs of abuse and learn how to properly report,” Peace said. “I also feel it’s incredibly important to empower children and young adults to know they are in control of their bodies and if something does happen to them, there are organizations that will help them through their recovery just like they helped families like ours.”
Peace is a former TV news anchor and Air Force security forces officer who now works as a senior public affairs specialist. She is married to a U.S. Marine, and together they have two children. Peace also volunteers regularly to read to children and as a motivational speaker in schools to talk about healthy self-image and anti-bullying. Additionally, she continues to seek opportunities to speak at colleges and sororities to work with young women on bystander training.
The Mrs. California America organization is the official state final to Mrs. America, a program that celebrates America’s married women and their accomplishments. Each state queen will go on to compete at the Mrs. America final in Las Vegas on Nov. 20.