John Parra / Getty Images
Karen Belz
May 17, 2018 2:33 pm

A new initiative in the works will protect models from sexual misconduct in the fashion industry. The program, RESPECT, was started by an advocacy group called Model Alliance. It allows models to anonymously report sexual harassment and assault. This will add a layer of protection and create a safe space for coming forward and speaking the truth.

Edie Campbell, Milla Jovovich, and Karen Elson are just three of the 100 women who joined the alliance. They signed an open letter calling for a legally binding contract that will hold abusers accountable for sexually inappropriate behavior.

“As models, our images serve a commercial purpose, but our bodies remain ours. Agreeing to be photographed or filmed as professional representatives of a product or brand does not constitute agreement to be groped, fondled, involuntarily disrobed or worse,” the open letter reads. “Designed by models and their allies, RESPECT provides an industry-wide blueprint for protecting models and their colleagues from harassment.”

Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff believes that the interest to make real change is there.

She also hopes to get companies on board to support the initiative as well.

We applaud Ziff for making such an important change. Nobody should ever feel unsafe at work.

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