Victoria’s Secret model’s sex assault nightmare
Former Victoria's Secret model Bridget Malcolm has described the discussion surrounding violence against women as "triggering" after her own sexual assault years ago.
The 28-year-old, who has spoken openly about her assault before, shared her frustration over her abuser being on the loose but did not reveal further details.
"As a sexual assault survivor, the news coming out of Australia the past couple of weeks has been triggering, painful and infuriating," Malcolm wrote on Instagram.
"I find it incredibly hard to read the headlines each morning. And to know that my abuser lives in Australia, most likely continuing his patterns with young women. It makes me sick to my stomach."
The outspoken model shared the candid post in honour of International Women's Day on March 8.
"I am proud to be a woman. But I will be prouder to be a woman in a society that has had the need to dedicate a day to my identified gender negated. Because that will mean a society based on equality and safety for all. And that's the world I want to live in," she wrote.
Perth-born Malcolm was discovered at age 14 at a Viviens Models search parade and went on to launch an international modelling career.
She has walked in countless runways for the likes of high fashion labels including Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney.
In 2018, Malcolm revealed she has been assaulted more than once while on the job.
"I have been sexually assaulted on set multiple times," she wrote on Instagram.
In a separate blog post on her website, she detailed some of her uncomfortable encounters.
"It wasn't ok to speak up about boundary crossing on set. You had to be the 'fantasy girl', who was ok with unsolicited flirting and touching," she wrote.
"You had to put up with having parts of your sense of self shut off. It was never ok to be a nuisance. Subsequently, I was afraid of being a woman for a very long time. Every period was a sign that I had failed, I was not thin enough.
"I strove to be the coolest 'fantasy girl' ever - putting up with behaviors that nowadays I would never stand for. I got assaulted, made fun of for being uncomfortable after that experience, and settled for far too long. I was also never quite happy."
Malcolm claimed those who were brave enough to speak up against sexual harassment were often labelled "hard to work with".
"For years now women in the fashion industry have been hesitant to speak up about the worst assaults and offenders," she wrote.
"We have been warned about handsy photographers and editors, then sent to meet them anyway. Because, after all, they can make your career if they like you.
"If you didn't play along with these men, your agency got informed that you were 'hard to work with' and 'cold'. Dealing with these people was a constant balancing act; how to come across as 'cool' and 'fun' without getting assaulted."
Malcolm's comments come amid various high-profile sexual assault claims including from former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins, who alleged she was previously raped inside Parliament House.
Originally published as Victoria's Secret model's sex assault nightmare