Taylor Swift: ‘In Cases of Sexual Assault, I Believe the Victim’
Taylor Swift turns 30 years old this year, and to celebrate, the monolithic pop megastar made a list for Elle of 30 lessons that she has learned so far in her life. From simple recipes and the benefits of taking vitamins to large-scale mental outlooks such as how to grapple with tragedy and gain a healthy body image, Swift has all sorts of advice to share.
However, few of those life lessons are more personal to her than her reason for always believing the victims in sexual assault cases. "Coming forward is an agonizing thing to go through," Swift writes.
The singer went through that process herself after Denver radio DJ David Mueller groped her at a meet and greet before a concert in 2013. Mueller sued Swift in 2015, claiming that he had been fired from his job due to her allegations of sexual assault, and she responded with a countersuit. A judge ultimately ruled in her favor, awarding her the symbolic $1 she requested.
Swift explains that many victims who attempt to stand up for themselves after being sexually assault have to endure a lengthy and humiliating public trial. They're forced to relive the trauma of their sexual assault by describing the incident over and over again, and often are not taken seriously.
"I believe victims because I know firsthand about the shame and stigma that comes with raising your hand and saying, 'This happened to me,'" Swift continues. "It's something no one would choose for themselves. We speak up because we have to, and out of fear that it could happen to someone else if we don't."
Following her own legal victory, Swift donated to several organizations that help sexual assault victims.
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