My name is Ebba P. Karlsson.
I am one of the founders of Victorious Angels - WE RISE - a collective of model industry sexual abuse survivors.
Our mission is to help each and every abuse survivor to find their voice, share their story and seek justice.
I am currently raising much needed funds for our organization.
For decades, abuse within the modelling industry has gone unchecked. Its workforce consists of mainly teenage girls and yet the industry remains unregulated. We hope to change that as the next wave of the #MeToo movement is already well underway in the modelling industry.
On September 21st 2020, a criminal investigation opened in Paris following rape and sexual assault allegations against Gérald Marie, the former president of Elite Model Management.
Marie ‘categorically’ denies all accusations against him but our Paris lawyer, Anne-Claire Le Jeune, has received reports of sexual violence dating back to the 1980s.
Seventeen victims of Gerald Marie have now come forward to the French authorities with allegations of rape and sexual assault. Our case is being dealt with by the Paris Brigade de Protection des Mineurs. That is because two of the accusers were minors at the time of the offences.
We want justice for all survivors and to support more victims as they come forward.
It is our desire that every survivor has the opportunity to lodge her deposition with the Paris police investigator if she so chooses. We acknowledge that for many women travelling from the US, Australia and other parts of Europe, the travel costs are prohibitive. We do not want to see any survivor held back from justice for financial reasons.
We therefore ask you to donate to the Victorious Angels – We Rise fund to enable survivors to travel to Paris to give their formal statements.
We will hear in the coming weeks and months whether the case will proceed to trial. If so, then all seventeen victims will need your help to travel to the Paris courts. We will publish updates about that.
Meanwhile Gerald Marie and Jean Luc Brunel survivors have joined together to lobby for the reform of French laws governing the statute of limitations in France, currently holding back Gerald Marie victims from seeing justice. All seventeen of us are outside the statute of limitations for sexual assault. This archaic law also adversely affected many Brunel victims.
Last September victims of Brunel and Marie attended the French Senate at the invitation of Senator Natalie Goulet who invited us to present our assault stories and explain to lawmakers why it is crucial to us and other victims to have the prosecution period for sex crimes extended. We know from personal experience that it takes survivors years, even decades, before they feel able and safe to report sexual crimes against them.
Our work around the statute of limitations is gaining momentum in Europe and more of us expect to return to Paris this year at the invitation of Senator Goulet to push forward our arguments for law reform. In order to do this work effectively, and for as many Brunel and Marie survivors as possible to attend the Senate, we will need funds.
“Thanks to those victims who have spoken out and initiated change, girls today will know that you have made it easier for them to speak out in the future. They will know that they will be heard and protected. In years to come your efforts may very well have eradicated industry abuse all together.” Senator Natalie Goulet – Paris
Donations will immediately go to survivors needing financial assistance to cover travel and accommodation costs for the period they are required in Paris to provide their formal statements.
A second phase will see donations going to those victims wishing to attend the Paris Senate later this year for our important ongoing work around French law reform.
Victorious Angels – We Rise is transitioning to a non-profit organisation but we need to raise funds urgently so that we can proceed with our criminal case and continue our campaigning work. We would like to include all those donating to our cause on our Supporters page in recognition of your help and generosity.
Please do sign up to our newsletter and follow us on @victorious_angels
In deep gratitude,
Ebba P Karlsson