The #MeToo hashtag went viral late last year after actor Alyssa Milano tweeted the phrase in response to the widespread sexual misconduct reported within the entertainment industry, but the movement reaches far beyond the red carpet.
Established in 2006 by social activist Tarana Burke, Me Too works to destigmatise conversations surrounding sexual violence and support all women affected, particularly women of colour and those from low-income communities.
This month, Australian fashion illustrator Kerrie Hess is showing her support for the cause by donating 100% of the proceeds from her portrait "We Stand Together" to the Women’s Legal Service Queensland, an institution that offers free legal assistance to women experiencing domestic violence.
Hess was inspired to create the portrait after meeting Dame Quentin Bryce, the ambassador for Women’s Legal Service Queensland, at a breakfast hosted by the organisation. “When I heard women telling their equally heartbreaking and inspiring stories I knew I wanted to be involved and find a way to make my own contribution,” says Hess.
Available on June 6 via Hess’ website, every one of the gorgeous prints sold helps support the one in two Australian women who experience sexual harassment in the course of their lifetime (ABS), and the one in six who have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner (AIHW).
“The print was created for these women," continues Hess. "I wanted to help raise funds to help support the very important work done by the Women’s Legal Service and hopefully spark more conversation so that those who may be in a vulnerable situation feel there is somewhere to turn for help.”