Powerful

Sexual abuse survivors share their stories at #MeToo fashion show

A powerful show at New York Fashion Week featured survivors of sexual abuse and misconduct who walked the runway while chained to male models wearing pig masks. They later shared their stories with the audience.

Reuters reports that the American Wardrobe show was inspired by the #MeToo movement, which the models spoke about as they shared their experiences with sexual abuse and misconduct. Alicia Kozakiewicz, for example, described how she was kidnapped from her Pennsylvania home by an online predator, and how she overcame victim-blaming and prejudice to become a motivational speaker.

”The me-too movement is not about man-hating; it is not about fighting violence with violence,” she said, according to Reuters. “It is, however, empowering women and girls to live in a world free of fear so that they can be safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

Also among the models was Cheyenne Jacobs, who is a survivor of sexual assault and rape. “I would like to take this moment as a stand of my healing, how far I’ve grown and also to say that this is not only a movement, not just stories, but we’re real people who have gone through real things,” she said.

The models first walked the runway alone and later reappeared while handcuffed to men wearing pig masks. Myriam Chalek, creative director of American Wardrobe, told Reuters that while she does not think the dramatic fashion show “is going to change things overnight,” she hopes it is a positive step toward empowering survivors. “A woman who has been empowered is a woman who is unstoppable,” she said.

Read the full story at Reuters.

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