Each competitor chooses a specific platform, and Barthel chose domestic violence. This issue is very close to home for her, as it has affected her family.
“I just want people to know that there’s a lot of people out there who assume that just because someone isn’t being hit doesn’t mean they’re not being abused,” she said. “Love shouldn’t hurt. You’re not someone’s punching bag.”
Barthel has helped several people in Perham escape domestic abuse situations. She encourages anyone in an abusive situation to get help by going to a police officer, a shelter or even calling her. “You’re not alone,” she said.