Groups protest Vogue’s choking photo

Sanctuary for Families, Safe Horizons, NOW NYC and Equality Now have complained to Conde Nast chairman Si Newhouse and editorial director Thomas Wallace about this Vogue Hommes International cover.

September 14, 2012

Dear Mr. Wallace and Mr. Newhouse:

We write to express our profound opposition to your decision to feature a photo of Stephanie Seymour with Marlon Teixeira’s hand wrapped around her neck on the cover of Vogue Hommes International. This truly disturbing image of a woman being choked sends a dangerous message to anyone who sees this magazine – that choking is a sign of passion rather than of violence. /LETTER CONTINUES

Choking is a huge predictor of future lethality. A 2008 Journal of Emergency Medicine study of murders of women in 11 cities found that 43% of women who were killed by intimate partners had experienced at least one previous episode of choking before being killed. That is why, in 2010, New York State made choking a violent felony, and advocates, prosecutors, police officers and survivors throughout the State have embraced the law as a way to save women’s lives.

In New York, your magazine appears on numerous newsstands and has enormous reach with young men and women. While this cover was perhaps intended to shock and thrill potential readers, the truly shocking fact is that it glorifies violence against women as an act of love.

Choking is not a fashion statement, and certainly not something that should be used to sell magazines. We are calling on Condé Nast, as a responsible company based in New York, to pull the magazine from the newsstands immediately, and to pledge not to use violent images like this in the future.

Laurel W. Eisner
Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families

Ariel Zwang
Chief Executive Officer, Safe Horizon

Sonia Ossorio
President, NOW-NYC

Lauren Hersh
New York Director, Equality Now