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“I’m not dead (you idiot), I am simply at peace…”

3 Sep

… and I never thought I’d begin a blog by quoting ‘Kung Fu Panda’. 

I left the previous post up for a while in case any readers had been directed here from The Times or any other paper/blog etc but I really think I’m overdue a happier life update and some new pictures.

EDIT: I’m going to be adding many, many new things to my sale in the next few hours. Sizes UK 8-14, prices from £1.50. Keep checking here: http://roswellivory.wordpress.com/sale/

It’s just been my birthday (so thankyou, thankyou, thankyou to all you lovely people who sent me birthday wishes and presents. I have mailed you individually but you deserve an extra mention here).
I spent my actual birthday in airports and at a photoshoot but managed to squeeze in a trip to see the Sebastiao Salgado exhibition “Genesis” in Stockholm.. I’d taken some rare time out to see my Swedish friends- it’s possibly my favourite country, even if you Swedes do eat banana on pizza. (That’s right, everyone else: the pineapple on pizza debate is over- the Swedes have BANANA.) ‘Old’ friends and new; tack* for the hugs, beds, fika**, gossip and fun! In fact I was having too much fun to take photos, but I went to see cult HP Lovecraft musical “A Shoggoth on the Roof” in Swedish, had a girly night in, went to a stretching class and learned a few more words.

Have a montage:
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And a sneak preview from my shoot with Belinda Bartzner
http://instagram.com/p/sAZ8QdCUpe/

When I arrived home, I found an e-mail from photographer/friend Luci-Alice. We’ve been published in Freque magazine‘s black and white issue! May I please introduce Eddie? Isn’t he gorgeous? He’s the same colour as my hair.
The harness was custom-made by Pandora Deluxe, who I’ll be walking for this year in the biannual Dominatrix event… where I’m also nominated for the title of ‘Miss Fetish Europe’!
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While a few Facebookers were concerned that Eddie’s ears are facing backward, I promise he’s fine: his owner was there the whole time, there were flies as it was a hot day so Luci captured some ear flicks, he had a roomy stall so could move away if he wanted to and as I’m an animal-lover, I was mindful of his comfort at all times. If you’d like more reassurance, here’s an ears-up picture (and linked is a true ‘upset horse’ picture for comparison).
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So now, I’m having some days off before my appearance at London Fetish Weekend! (I’ll be walking in fashion shows for Lady Allura and Fabulously Fetish).
Though I have busy times ahead I’ve been trying to have a walk every day- the area around me is too beautiful to ignore- especially at my favourite time of year and after a period of such stress, nothing makes me happier than being a part of nature again. Told you I was at peace! ;)

Usually I need a padded cell in order to write- I’m too easily distracted and only realised this year that taking my notebook out into nature is the worst thing I can do. Still, I have a great memory and recorded three little snapshots of life, currently.

Morning:
I don’t want to leave Sweden. I haven’t seen a moose this trip except on my new keyring, and the boulder-strewn forest on the outskirts of Stockholm just might hold deer that I could see if I waited a few more hours. But instead I’m by a shop that sells ice cream in homemade waffle cones, which smell warm… and evidently irresistable as I’m holding a peach cone. I’m lost, but not uncomfortably. Still, I haven’t enough time to be lost at all. Directions from the man in the magazine shop, a quick glance over his shoulder finds my friend smiling from a cover. The memory of her hand-drawn map to a beauty spot last year sparks a smile from me that lasts three streets.
The museum is glowing, five flights of steps downward in the grey rain- a lighthouse in reverse. Do I want to spend precious money? You’re on holiday, Roswell!! Genesis… we mostly imagine a steamy prehistoric fern-strewn earth, or a planet with roads and Attenborough and deforestation… but never both at once. Never like this. People I wish to meet but can only see in the split seconds captured here… Textures I want to feel- a claw here, a frondy plant halfway up a tree hundreds of miles away… Entire non-human communities that will never think of me a day in their lives…
I’m almost late for my flight.
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Noon:
The clouds wait along the horizon and the sun is warm but not dazzling- I don’t realise that tic-tic-tic sound is made by a robin until I see him fly across the path and change to a prettier duet with another one a few trees away. I don’t want to disturb him, so I hide under a red-dotted hawthorn tree. Almost everything’s colourful here- a good thing for the birds, which, I doubt will go for a feeder hung from the end of my boat! I creep out to the hedgerow and am surrounded by blackberries. I can stop feeling guilty about taking the birds’ food- there’s plenty for all and a couple of handfuls go in my bag. I couldn’t even remember what wild ones tasted like but while supermarket blackberries are plum-sized and bitter, the ones in my hand taste of Autumn.
The biggest dragonfly I have ever seen is a few feet away- electric blue and green with jewel eyes and a wingspan the length of my hand! I duck as it flies toward home (mine). On some level, I don’t think I thought it was real. I follow after it carrying my hedgerow food and passing a secret crop of dove grey and fawn mushrooms under leaves I can’t name. I think everyone knows when I’m walking the jetty- my boots clump a bit! It’s getting chilly as the clouds take over, but inside there’s a new bag of coffee to open. No need for incense when there’s coffee…

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Night:
It’s usually the most peaceful place to be but tonight, the marina has its own kind of unrest- though not an unpleasant one.
Somebody’s band is rehearsing nearby. A light is on and shadows move rhythmically against the curtains. The woman singing has a haunting, echoing voice even in the upbeat jazz and I remember how I wish I could sing. I need a break from the ‘computer hunch’ and climb onto the roof. The air feels more autumnal than ever- what is it about a full moon that says ‘Autumn’? I wonder what the people nearby make of the woman in the computer-game-assassin clothes standing on the roof of a canal boat. It doesn’t matter either way but it’s probably a funny image!
The cygnets think I have more popcorn for them and though the parents raise their heads, they know better and ignore their grey whistling children. Their bed on the bank looks cosy- a faerie ring of bulrushes.
I wish the moorhen couple and their four chicks safety through the night. It’s their first successful brood and I can’t tell them apart yet but wish that they could still balance on the lily pads the way they used to.
The high blustering sound of an aeroplane, the creaking of the mooring ropes and the music has stopped for the night. The water here is never still- too many shifting boats- and so the moon’s reflection breaks and shatters into a long teardrop shape- a bright lunar koi on the water’s surface.

I’m useless at night photography, so have a night-faerie-esque picture by Follyhouse. Make-up by me.
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ROSWELL xxx

p.s. if you aren’t following my facebook, why not?? it’s where the extra news snippets go… https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roswell-Ivory-model-and-writer/152654844767588

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.

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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 (the amazing woman, aged 90 at the time, testified in court!!) 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.
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July 2014: Happiest woman in Chinatown
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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.

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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

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