Taylor Swift, among many women who have opened up about sexual assault this year, have been named TIME's Person Of The Year.
Taylor underwent a huge sexual assault trial this year, after radio host DJ David Mueller groped her during a meet and greet in 2013.
Taylor's allegation led him to sue her for defamation, but eventually led her to countersue for $1, which she still has not been paid.
“I figured that if he would be brazen enough to assault me under these risky circumstances and high stakes, imagine what he might do to a vulnerable, young artist if given the chance,” Taylor told Time, explaining how the incident went down in a public setting. “It was important to report the incident to his radio station because I felt like they needed to know.”
“When I testified, I had already been in court all week and had to watch this man’s attorney bully, badger, and harass my team including my mother over inane details and ridiculous minutiae, accusing them, and me, of lying,” she said. “My mom was so upset after her cross-examination, she was physically too ill to come to court the day I was on the stand. I was angry.”
She also talked about the support she got, especially from other public figures.
“I spoke to Kesha on the phone and it really helped to talk to someone who had been through the demoralising court process,” she said.
Taylor now hopes that sharing her message will help other victims of assault and harassment.
“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,” she said.
“I think that this moment is important for awareness, for how parents are talking to their children, and how victims are processing their trauma, whether it be new or old. The brave women and men who have come forward this year have all moved the needle in terms of letting people know that this abuse of power shouldn’t be tolerated,” she added.
“When the jury found in my favour, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself.”
If you, or someone you know, has experienced sexual harassment in any way, speak confidentially to a trained counsellor 24 hours a day:
Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Lifeline on 13 11 14.