Cameron Russell Urges Models To Come Forward And Seek Help For Sexual Abuse

#MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse

With the support of other voices, prompted by allegations against Harvey Weinstein, men and women in lots of different industries are coming forward with their own horrifying recollections of sexual harassment and abuse.

Cameron Russell, model and activist, has helped to surface more stories by providing a space for it on her Instagram — spotlighting some terrible truths within the fashion industry and calling for an end to it.

Along with the very real hashtag #MyJobShouldNotIncludeAbuse, Cameron has shared almost 80 anonymous stories sent in by models and other workers that detail abuse. Cameron also does the right thing and warns women about participating in this space —it comes with a trigger warning and lots of information on self-care.

She has also explained that the people who’ve shared their stories have not given explicit permission to have them shared elsewhere. So, if reading these stories is important to you, you should visit her account direct.

Not that the onus should ever be on victims to explain and stand up against abuse — though somehow I don’t see perps owning up and changing things any time soon — it’s important for us all to be able to identify and speak up about shitty behaviour. Cameron posts more useful information here too.

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A few years ago I was shooting with another model at a client's corporate headquarters. In the staff kitchen on the required labor law posters, we read the definition of sexual harassment. "This sounds like our job description," I said. We laughed and went back to work. When I got home and looked up the definition online, it was so spot on it felt like someone who knew us...and of course they did. Sexual harassment is unacceptably commonplace. I sat down to try to make a list of my own experiences. Non consensual kisses, spanks, gropes, and pinches. Failing to provide adequate changing space, shaming in response to requests for adequate changing space. Bullying by editors, photographers, stylists, and clients to go topless or nude. Publishing nudity after contractually agreeing not to. Non consensual massage. Inappropriate emails, text messages, and phone calls. Pressure while underage to consume alcohol. Being directed to "pretend like I'm your boyfriend." Being forced to sleep at the photographer's home rather than provided a hotel. Having my job threatened if I don't participate. Being called difficult, feminist, virgin, diva when speaking up or saying no. Being unclear about boundaries because so many boundaries have been crossed. I loose count. And this is only what's easy to share, what's as commonplace as 9am call times, fittings, and lunch. #myjobshouldnotincludeabuse

A post shared by Cameron Russell (@cameronrussell) on

If you need more information or assistance in dealing with assault in Australia, you can get lots of information from reachout.com and 1800respect.org.au

Photo: @cameronrussell

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