EXCLUSIVE: Laura & Vanessa Marano Share Their Message for Survivors of Abuse

EXCLUSIVE: Laura & Vanessa Marano Share Their Message for Survivors of Abuse

Sisters Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano are working to educate the world about an important issue: Online sexual exploitation.

The issue is at the center of Laura and Vanessa’s dark new movie, Saving Zoë, which they also worked on as producers.

We caught up with Laura and Vanessa at the LA screening of Saving Zoë, where they gave us some exclusive insight into the work they’re doing to fight back against online sexual exploitation.

Laura and Vanessa have teamed up with a charity called Equality Now to get the word out and are planning a PSA on internet safety with the rest of the Saving Zoë cast.

“I think, unfortunately, a lot of times with online sexual exploitation, it happens with people you think you know,” Vanessa explained, when asked about her advice when it comes to avoiding becoming a victim of online sexual exploitation, which encompasses a range of predatory behavior on the internet, from soliciting photos to luring others to in-person encounters. “So, I would say really be cautious of sending images of yourself. Be cautious of your passwords.”

Vanessa adds that it’s also crucial for victims not to blame themselves – something that happens far too often when it comes to online sexual exploitation.

“And most importantly, out of everything, if it happens to you, tell someone,” she says. “I think there’s so much shame that is associated with online sexual exploitation and a lot of guilt that feels like, ‘Oh, it was my fault. I was stupid. I did this.’ Don’t listen to that voice inside your head. Tell someone because it’s what someone else did is wrong. You were actually the victim of someone else and you’re a survivor.”

Here’s how 13 Reasons Why was pivotal in getting Laura Marano and Vanessa Marano’s new movie, Saving Zoë made!

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Laura Marano, Saving Zoe, Vanessa Marano