“Pop star Taylor Swift testified a few days ago about David Mueller, a former radio DJ, allegedly groping her backstage during a meet-and-greet after an event in 2013. Groping is a form of sexual violence. When her team reported the incident to his company, they launched their own investigation and fired him.
If her allegations are true, and I believe they are, then Swift’s experience is not unlike that of millions of Americans. In 2014, my organization Stop Street Harassment worked with national survey firm GfK to conduct a nationally representative survey about sexual harassment and violence in public spaces. Alarmingly, 23 percent of women and 8 percent of men nationwide had experienced some form of unwanted sexual touching while they were in public spaces, including streets, buses, trains, stores, bars, concert venues and parks…
Another common reason why people stay silent about groping is they fear being disbelieved or blamed for the incident. Countless women have written on the Stop Street Harassment site about encountering these kinds of responses when sharing their stories of harassment with friends, relatives or police. Even though she is a megastar, it is telling that these are both responses Swift faced. She had the fortitude to refute them in court saying, “This is what happened, it happened to me, I know it was him,” and “I’m not going to allow you or your client to make me feel in any way that this is my fault, because it isn’t.”
Yesterday, Swift won her lawsuit and today she announced she is donating money to organizations that work with sexual violence survivors.
“After a Denver jury found that a preponderance of evidence showed that former radio DJ David Mueller had groped the pop star, Swift said in a statement that her four-year ordeal, which included a two-year-long trial process, was for “anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault.”
“I acknowledge the privilege that I benefit from in life, in society and in my ability to shoulder the enormous cost of defending myself in a trial like this,” the 27-year-old singer said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard. Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”
Two organizations working with victims of assault told ABC News that they have already benefited from Swift taking on Mueller in court [including RAINN].”
Thank you, Swift, for using your platform in this way and for standing so tall in the face of abuse and disbelief. You are an inspiration and a role model.Share on Facebook