The Model Safety Net was established in 2012 by model/MUA Fiona Wade, to keep models, and all creatives, well-informed about working safely in the modelling industry. As well as hosting informative resources, it will run comprehensive workshops, and provide advice for people about reporting individuals.
It is the ultimate goal of our team at ModelSafety.Net to create a strong network of partnerships and alliances with reputable organisations worldwide; to set a standard for safety within the modelling industry. Together with the creator of Portfora.com we are working hard to get models the resources they need to safely network within this potentially dangerous industry.
Every person we have spoken to about the organization has been excited to join our pursuit and support us in building this valuable model resource website. With involvement of authors to authorities, and amateurs to professionals; we are developing a community and providing tools for the young and creative minds of the fashion and modelling industry.
With a background in the fashion industry, I learned that much like any other industry there are bad things that come along with the good. After opening up to a trusted photographer about a few episodes in which I had been sexually assaulted by photographers, I learned that I am not alone, as they had heard reports from other models involving the same industry ‘professionals’.
In 2012 I created a support group on Facebook after being prompted to speak with others about their similar experiences in the modelling industry. Hearing the concerns of models from all across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, and while acting as an advocate for the safety of men and women alike, I noticed a common denominator in many of the cases reported to me.
The main things that stand out above all are the lack of easily accessible resources, as well as moderation and standards of professionalism in the fashion industry. We see people like the infamously perverse Terry Richardson, throwing their junk in models’ faces, and getting away with it as if it is acceptable. In any other workplace this would not be looked past, so why does this stuff happen to us?
It’s my belief that it is directly related to the fear of tarnishing your reputation by coming forward to authorities about these inappropriate situations, and being marked as a whistle blower. Fear should not be the reason that victims of improprieties don’t step forward and prevent these things from happening to others.
Coming later in 2014, ModelSafety.Net will be presenting a workshop in collaboration with the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Transit Police, Victim Services and the Sex Crimes Unit, as well as lawyers and many other volunteers. We will be focusing on the Dangers and Hazards of the Modelling Industry and speaking about many topics including:
- How sexual assault is not limited to women alone.
- Definitions of, and differences between; slander, libel, assault, confinement, entrapment, battery, and other related legal terms that may apply to our experiences.
- Consequences of slander, libel, and other things that models may put themselves at risk of charges for, unknowingly.
- Online predator reporting and what is and is not considered illegal to say or do online.
- Establishing appropriate ‘Contracts’ or understandings between the model and the photographer.
- Strategies for safe photoshoots (such as bringing a chaperone with you to set).
- How and when to properly report Sexual Assaults and Improprieties to Police.
- The dangers of having very explicit websites that could attract stalkers and the dangers of the photographers posting these photos.
Our website ModelSafety.Net will be growing resource of articles, tips, promotions and event information; a place for models to come forward and speak to people if they are in need of support; legal/industry advice or advocacy, as well as referrals and downloadable resources such as basic contracts/modelling agreements.
We encourage you to get involved by volunteering for our upcoming fundraisers, utilize our resources, make donations to fund our educational workshops (and attend them!), join Portfora.com to get your portfolio started and become eligible for possible promotions on ModelSafety.Net, submit articles or experiences for publication, as well as join us in our pursuit to end violence in this industry.
Our first workshop will be held in Vancouver later this year and we invite you to get on the mailing list for updates on when and where it will be! http://www.modelsafety.net/workshops/
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