The Model Alliance launches an anti-sexual assault program
"Respect Program" aims to protect models
FASHION The models alliance
Since the #MeToo movement drew out a plethora of sexual assault and misconduct allegations within the fashion industry, The Model Alliance is now initiating a project to protect women in their workplace, including the runway.
"In light of Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo, there has been a real shift in the national discussion," Sara Ziff, the founder of the organization and the leader of the new "Respect Program," told Teen Vogue. "'Respect' basically asks companies to make an enforceable commitment to prevent sexual abuse in our industry."
The Respect Program includes a 24-hour hotline and resource center for models who are being subjected to mistreatment in their communities. With anonymity and legal support, this program will make sure that companies take action if a complaint is filed, and use an unbiased third party to investigate.
"Change comes from the bottom up," Ziff said. "It’s important to us that the models are leading this effort. Even if we’re being photographed to appear as a face, ultimately our bodies are ours. Just because you’re being photographed doesn’t mean you’ve invited anyone to touch you."
Taking on an industry that has a long and complicated history of harassment and abuse, Ziff and The Models Alliance are working to create a safe space within the industry for anyone in need.
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