TIME magazine’s Person of the Year 2017 are the “Silence Breakers,” women and men who have spoken out about sexual misconduct. The group succeeds Donald Trump, who was given the honor last year after winning the U.S. presidency. Trump claimed last month he had declined an offer to “probably” receive the title again this year; a spokesperson for the magazine tweeted he’d shared “incorrect” information.
One of the women featured on this year’s cover is Taylor Swift, who triumphed in a legal battle against a former radio DJ she accused of groping her.
“I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault,” she said. “You could be blamed for the fact that it happened, for reporting it and blamed for how you reacted. You might be made to feel like you’re overreacting, because society has made this stuff seem so casual. My advice is that you not blame yourself and do not accept the blame others will try to place on you. You should not be blamed for waiting 15 minutes or 15 days or 15 years to report sexual assault or harassment, or for the outcome of what happens to a person after he or she makes the choice to sexually harass or assault you.”
Radio DJ David Mueller groped Taylor Swift during a photo op in 2013. She reported him to his radio station, KYGO, and he was terminated. He said her accusations were false and sued Swift. She countersued for $1 and won. "When I testified, I had already had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger and harass my team, including my mother … I was angry. In that moment, I decided to forgo any courtroom formalities and just answer the questions the way it happened. This man hadn’t considered any formalities when he assaulted me … Why should I be polite? I’m told it was the most amount of times the word ass has ever been said in Colorado federal court." (Mueller’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.) @taylorswift is among the Silence Breakers, TIME's Person of the Year. Read the full story on TIME.com. Photograph by Billy & Hells for TIME. #TIMEPOY
Swift also singled out her support from Kesha, who has been embroiled in a lawsuit against former mentor/collaborator Dr. Luke in which she accuses him of sexual assault, and to whom Swift donated $250,000 to help with legal costs.
“I spoke to Kesha on the phone and it really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralizing court process,” Swift said.
The cover also features actress Ashley Judd (an early Harvey Weinstein accuser) Susan Fowler (who exposed wrongdoing by Uber’s CEO), Adama Iwu (who spearheaded a campaign to raised awareness of sexual harassment in California state government) and Isabel Pascual (a farm worker, who shared her story of fear and intimidation).
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