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Why I’m Grateful Taylor Swift Is Included in Time's 'Person of the Year' Issue

TIME magazine just announced that “silence breakers” are this year’s “Person of the Year.”

This is huge and also very fitting.

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This year has been full of reports about sexual assault, harassment and misconduct. So many amazingly strong people have started campaigns to raise awareness and support for survivors, and so many people have also stood up against their perpetrators.

I am so thankful TIME chose some of the people they did, but I’m also extremely thankful they chose Taylor Swift to be included.

Not because she is famous, not because she is beautiful and not because I’m a huge fan of hers, but rather for the impact her specific case had on me.

For those of you who didn’t follow her original case earlier this year, here’s a little summary: During one of her meet-and-greets on her Red tour, Denver radio host, David Mueller groped her ass. He was fired over the incident, and then sued Taylor for damages. She countersued for an iconic $1, but stated she hoped the case could serve as an example to other women. The judge sided with Taylor.

This case was huge for me as it was happening, but today I was reminded of its significance again.

As a survivor of both rape and other sexual assaults, I’m grateful for people who are coming forward with rape accusations, but also for those like Taylor who take action against other forms of seemingly more “minor” acts of sexual assaults.

Last night, before TIME released their “Person of the Year,” I was sexually assaulted at a bus stop. A man I did not know hugged me, groped my ass and tried kissing me. When I told one of my friends about what happened they asked if I wanted to report it, and I answered that it wasn’t big enough. I hadn’t reported rape, so why would I report this?

Then I woke up to see this news.

I was reminded that Taylor had her ass groped just like I did last night, and won in court over it. I was reminded that by staying silent I am giving the power to my assailant. I was reminded that I am allowed to speak up and use my voice and fight for myself and those around me.

Taylor’s case reminds me that any sexual assault is not acceptable and people need to be held accountable for this actions.

Taylor’s case being part of Time’s “Person of the Year” gives me hope that 2018 will be a continuation of the progress that was started in 2017 of bringing light to the darkness that is sexual assault.

I hope 2018 is full of perpetrators getting what they deserve and survivors finding peace in justice. I hope 2018 brings survivors closer together as they fight for each other. I hope 2018 uses these silence breakers like Taylor Swift as a reminder to survivors that we can still hold all of our power.

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Lead photo via TIME

Originally published: December 6, 2017
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