Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Aftermath

4 Aug

UPDATE #2 12/08/2014
Deeeear Daily Maaaail, It has come to my recent atten-shun…
Okay, I won’t do an Amanda Palmer on you, but apparently I broke down on the stand. Wrong model. Not that crying’s a bad thing but I’m sure you want to have our actions in the right order and matched to the right people.
Colclough was also only charged for four offences and acquitted of two. Thanks.

UPDATE 12/08/2014
If you have arrived via the Times, I’m afraid I have been Rita Skeeter-ed*. :(
I agreed to be named in today’s article only after reading the original text, which gave equal coverage to the other women who testified against the rapist Shaun Colclough.  The editor has cut out those stories and stuck my face on top of the piece like the cherry on top of a butchered cake. I did not give my permission for my image to be used in any way- in fact I forbade it. I feel these actions trivialise the harrowing experiences suffered by the other women and in light of this, I have withdrawn all co-operation with The Times newspaper.
I would like to make clear that the journalist responsible for writing the article bears no responsibility for the heavy-handed editing his original words were subjected to.

*If you are not a Harry Potter fan, Rita Skeeter embodies the worst journalistic stereotype possible.

____________________________________

I must apologise to all of the people who have sent such kind and inspiring comments and messages for me- the whole Colclough experience has been exhausting and so I went offline for a few days in order just to breathe (and attend the wedding of a friend.) I’m writing replies to you all right now.
So, we’ve hit the papers! Colclough’s face and story are in the Times, the Standard, the Hackney Citizen, the Daily Mail (who credited me with yelling “victim” at his retreating back. What I actually said was “you look vulnerable to me”- the same words he repeated during my shoot). More articles are pending and a very unflattering photo of the man himself is doing the rounds. There is now a nationwide appeal for more witnesses to come forward. If you are one, please call the police and tell your story- support is available from now and through the entire court journey.
By virtue of being a writer with a strong online presence, I was able to shout the loudest. However, please let me stress that my experience was minor compared to the other women involved and these are the real warriors behind the conviction. My case was one of ‘unauthorised touching’ and hinged on a hug he denied giving- nearly impossible to prove or convict on. All I did was sound the alarm.

A few days ago I had a lovely stay on the Isle of Wight- shooting on a farm, meeting kittens, girly chats with the fantastic photographer Luci-Alice and her family, brushing through meadows full of wildflowers and stripy cinnabar moth caterpillars- pretty idyllic, right? It had been a much-needed break, friends are a good sadness remedy and I was enjoying my phone-caught memories on a high-speed train though I’ve forgotten where I was going. While I hate the cliche of a world going cold, I remembered the judges’ words describing Shaun and suddenly felt as though the train couldn’t go fast enough. I had an urge to get up and run.
I have the highest respect for those who work with the sickest, most twisted in society- I couldn’t do it. I met this one man, who radiated such a sense of menace that I was more afraid than I have ever been in my life- and as a result, something has changed. Perhaps it’s just the gaining of the knowledge that these people who lurk in CSI’s dark corners and grin like sharks in straight-to-video thrillers really exist.

Still, I know myself a little better. Should I be attacked, raped, threatened- I can and will defend myself- all of the four women wo testified have done so and though not all of us achieved a conviction, in one way we still have won. Should the same thing ever happen again, I would report immediately and take it all the way to court. I think most of us would agree on that.

And so I’ll answer the questions, do the interviews and continue this blog- which has been a huge source of comfort for me. And I’m going to get on with my life. I’m eating Green and Blacks (which I doubt you get in prison), watching four fluffball moorhen chicks (which you don’t get in prison) and enjoying the freedom to work and chill on my own terms (which you sure as hell don’t get in prison.)

Shaun Colclough called us vulnerable. Not any more- if ever we were.

13925_10154373168405063_7480013589763326740_n

Photo by Luci-Alice (who I will blog about soon- I urge you to help her in her current quest).
All parts of the headdress were recycled, collected or otherwise ethically obtained.

Peacock’s Swansong

29 Jul

On July 22nd 1996, a 22 year-old man named Sean Peacock broke into the home of an 84 year-old woman who weighed 5 1/5 stone, and raped her.
Based on DNA evidence, he was convicted in 2002 and served six years in prison despite claiming memory loss (alcohol-induced). During a sex offender rehabilitation program, he was taught photography, which he became rather good at. After his release in 2008 he began working for some of the top modelling agencies and changed his name to Shaun Colclough.

Throughout 2011, he brought young relatively new models to his studio in Hackney Wick and proceeded to batter their self-esteem and induce a sense of terror and vulnerability before sexually assaulting them.
I was one of these models. Compared to his other crimes, his offence against me was minor and, not believing anything could be done, I tried to get on with my life- until a chance conversation with another model revealed she also had been a victim and a disturbing pattern began to emerge.

I named him in August 2011 on this blog and a worrying number of other models came in to tell their stories. (Here’s the post- go through the comments). Eventually, Shaun himself came online to attempt to justify his actions. Notice that in my response to him, I recognised his words for those of a rapist. Frightening indeed.
Fingering, vaginal and anal touching, forced oral sex, indecent exposure… As the stories came pouring in, many of us called the police and gave our statements. This was at the height of the Jimmy Saville scandal and I think the Met Police were rather swamped so the trial ended up being in June (2014).

Four of Shaun’s models came to testify (including me) and as the trial approached, I was asked to take down my blog until a verdict was reached. This, I did. I answered questions and looked for the first time at photographs of myself I had not seen before. I had expected court to be the way it is in American films- people yelling at me and banging things, but it wasn’t at all. I was given the option of testifying behind a screen or video link so I never had to look at him. (I chose neither but it was a comfort to other girls). I won’t lie- it was not a pleasant experience, but this kind of thing never is. However, I think all the women who testified felt inside that there was something deeply unsettling about Shaun and if our words could help get justice for any of us, the fear and discomfort would be worth it…

It was.

Shaun was sentenced today at Snaresbrook Crown Court- two consecutive sentences for sexual assault totalling SEVEN YEARS, with an extended license for five (meaning the police will be watching for an extra five years). In addition,
– He will be banned from taking photos of female models without an adult present with no convictions and full knowledge of his prior offences
– His hard-drive will be destroyed
– He will be put on the latest sex offenders register
– During the sentencing, his defence barrister stated that should Shaun decide to appeal, he will not represent him(!)
– Nothing to do with the sentencing, but due to the first arrest, Shaun also lost his marriage. (Yes, he had been married.)

The judge’s statement before passing the sentence was interesting. She mentioned that despite the defence barristers best efforts to convince her otherwise, she felt the current sexual assaults were linked to the past rape in the sense that “no doubt he deliberately contacted the vulnerable” and enjoyed the power and fear he instilled in the victims- “fear deliberately engendered by you”.
The defence barrister attempted to argue that there was no escalation on the level of crime committed (violent rape versus sexual assault on nude women) but, rightly, the judge countered that there was escalation: his rape defence centred on the idea that it was a drunken impulse, yet this series of assaults had been premeditated and there was the element of further degradation reached by photographing our discomfort and humiliation. At the bottom of this post is a photo he took of me that I had kept hidden until now.
Even more chilling: he had mentioned to one victim that he intended to take a trip to Amsterdam “to photograph pretty women on the street”. This too was brought up as evidence of premeditation. These women, not being professional models, would have had no clue how a normal photoshoot should proceed. Even easier targets…

I must say, when she bellowed “Shaun Colclough, STAND UP” as she passed the sentence, I began to shake- I hadn’t dared to hope for even three years- let alone seven. But here we are.

Now, more witnesses have come forward and it looks as though there will be another court session with a view to extending the sentence of the monster and rapist that is Shaun Colclough.

Please share this blog with anyone you know in the modelling/photography community. It is certain he assaulted and likely raped more women and they deserve the chance to see justice served.
If you were a Colclough victim and did not originally come forward, please consider doing so now. Court is not much fun, but there is support available throughout the process. Going through the experience and seeing the result has been the most empowering thing I have ever done. Had nobody been willing to fight, the rapist would still be out there.
This goes for anyone who has been sexually attacked: fight, for I promise you are not alone. You are stronger than you ever thought possible.

Thankyou, everyone who has supported us and taken care of us in times when our strength was at its lowest. Thankyou, brave brave women who saw this through to the end.

ROSWELL xxx

January 2011: Colclough victim and witness.
Model portfolio photoshoot_Roswell_by Shaun Colclough_0144 as Smart Object-1

July 2014: Happiest woman in Chinatown
WP_20140729_023WP_20140729_024

Justice

12 Jul

I guess you’ve noticed by now that I have been absent…

Last month, I testified in court against sex-offender-posing-as-photographer ‘Shaun Colclough’.  I was asked to remove my blog for the duration of the trial but am now back for good. Three other exceptionally brave women also testified (out of the fourteen or so who suffered at his hands).
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the original post is here, and I strongly recommend you read the comments. http://roswellivory.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/the-importance-of-references/

He pleaded ‘not guilty’ but was convicted of two counts of sexual assault and will be sentenced on the 24th (where I will be told the details of his previous conviction.) I will update you properly with all the details after the sentencing.

There is hope, and there is justice- but sometimes you have to fight for it. Fight for nothing, and nothing is what you will get.

justice_web[1]

Photo by Matt Frederick

MOVING HOUSE SALE!

3 Jun

You have no idea how many boxes I’ve rummaged through over the past few days! I never want to see a box again… :P
My boat’s hull is fixed, I have a lovely new deck and she’s almost ready to be put back in the water, which means I have to sell a LOT of stuff!
I have things from a size 8-14, shoes, latex, accessories, Karen Millen, Fairy Goth Mother, Lip Service etc so come and browse.

PRICES FROM £3!!

I’ve made a new page for it all here and will be adding to it over the next week as I take photos of everything. I’ve added a few items already so please get in touch if you would like anything. :)
Mail me THROUGH MY WEBSITE please- too many people have left comments in the past and have never followed up after I reply.

SALE THIS WAY -> -> -> -> http://roswellivory.wordpress.com/sale/

One of a kind, handmade (by me) bondage dress (size 10) available in my sale…
Photo by Hart-Worx

384685_10150383755038578_124735438577_8525999_1002929361_n

How To Be A Man

15 May

I’ve been re-reading Caitlin Moran’s “How To Be A Woman”, which is a feminist commentary on life which manages to include both mothers and childfree woman. And it’s bloody hilarious.
I was once asked to make a man out of a drunk idiot’s squirming pimply friend. At the time I said something rude but now I think about it, what a wonderful suggestion!
Here you go, friend of the red-eyed hollering tit on Prince Of Wales Road five years ago: this is a belated guide to being a man:

- Don’t laugh along when your friends are catcalling and whistling at a girl.
– Don’t slap your misogynistic, cheating friend on the back and call him a ‘legend‘.
– If you see a woman crying on the bus, ask quietly if she’s okay or if there‘s anything you can do. Yelling “cheer up love- it might never happen” does not help.
– Hold doors open for people- this isn’t anti-feminist, it is common decency.
– Being nice to a woman does not give you the right to demand sex. Sometimes people value your friendship too much to risk screwing it up in that way, so be nice for the sake of being nice.
– If you have a girlfriend, find out what she likes. Those generic things that ‘all women like’ show zero effort. (Unless you know for a fact that she wants red roses and chocolates).
– You don’t need money to make someone feel special and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Sometimes, just giving your time and attention is all that’s needed.
– Recognise that you deserve the same treatment and respect! Relationships are about being good to each other.
– Understand that a woman’s clothing says nothing about her sexual availability- she did not dress for you and is not ‘asking for it’.
– “Excuse me, I just wanted to say I think you look lovely. Have a nice day.” This sentence (said without leering) may get you a smile, which is more than mumbling “you’re hot” will ever do.
– Try to keep your relationships with friends, lovers and family healthy but if it is time to let go, accept it without trash talking. Sometimes you’ve done all you can.
– Being gay is not a bad thing, or a good insult. You are no less of a man and neither is your gay friend.
– Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. Dream big or small- as long as you dream, that’s all that matters.

You’ll probably spend your entire life learning how to be a man- that’s what new experiences are for- but the above points are a good place to start.

R x
p.s. Here is me looking thoughtful, wearing my own clothes in my favourite place (a woodland), photographed by Pirate Photography

IMG_0497

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 228 other followers