What is sexual harassment?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has defined sexual harassment in its guidelines as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
How does this apply to models?
Under federal law, independent contractors cannot sue for sexual harassment. Currently, the fashion industry generally insists that models are independent contractors, not employees. As a result, under federal law most models are vulnerable to sexual harassment with little recourse.
Despite this lack of protection, sexual assault is still a CRIME. Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will. If you feel that you were a victim of sexual assault, we urge you to file a police report.
NYPD Contact Information:
Sex Crimes Report Line: 1-212-267-RAPE
How can the Model Alliance help?
When we formed the Model Alliance we established a discreet grievance reporting and advice service called Model Alliance Support. We encourage any model who feels they have been the subject of unwanted sexual attention on the job to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who else can I contact for help?
RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence network. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. This nationwide partnership provides victims of sexual violence with free, confidential services around the clock. They also expanded their services with the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (http://online.rainn.org/), the nation’s first secure web-based hotline that provides live and completely confidential help to victims through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging. You can visit their website at https://www.rainn.org/.
SafeHorizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse. You can contact their 24-hour Rape, Sexual Assault & Incest Hotline (New York City) at 212-227-3000 and visit their website at http://www.safehorizon.org/index/get-help-8/rape-and-sexual-assault-37.html.