Sexual assualt victims shouldn’t need ‘Swift’ justice to be taken seriously


Eva Rinaldi/Flickr

Swift, seen here performing in 2015 during her “1989” tour, used her platform to bring attention to sexual assault.

“My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard,” singer/songwriter Taylor Swift said at the close of her 2017 trial against Colorado country music DJ David Mueller. The case was regarding an incident at a Denver meet and greet on June 2, 2013 when Mueller, 51, allegedly groped Swift during a photo opportunity.

This story has been highly publicized on social media and news publications recently because of the pop singer’s international fame and influence. This is not the first instance of sexual assault in the music industry, nor for young women as a whole. While the trial did bring attention to the profile of sexual assault cases, it should not take a celebrity to make sexual assault an important and consequential topic.

According to the Washington Post, Taylor Swift’s mother (Andrea Swift) said Mueller initially escaped charges as Taylor Swift, 23, was unwilling to release the confidential information on her sexual assault. In September of 2015, Mueller sued for 2.98 million dollars in damages, claiming Swift was responsible for him being fired from his job as a DJ. The lawsuit said to be falsely accusing Mueller of battery and assault was filed Sept. 10 in the United States District court. Fans speculate her purpose for countersuing for one dollar was that she didn’t desire money, rather to bring the subject of sexual assault to light and promote the idea that sexual harassment isn’t something to brush aside.

“I am not going to allow your client to make me feel like it is any way my fault because it isn’t,” Swift said at the trial, as reported by National Public Radio (NPR). She led an argument that even she, a popular voice in the music industry, was a victim of sexual assault and that this issue shouldn’t be neglected.

As reported by The Independent, Swift later said,  “I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves.”

A similar scandal prior to Swift’s case is regarding pop singer Kesha Sebert, who stated her producer Dr. Luke also sexually abused her. Swift previously donated $250,000 to Kesha when she was entrapped in her own legal battle to end her record contract, as reported by NBC. Swift was even said to be pursuing her case to bring light to the celebrities going through similar cases and to raise awareness about this topic.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), in the United States, one out of every six women and one out of every ten men is the victim of sexual assault. Additionally, NPR reported that two-thirds of sexual assaults are not reported to police. This is a very prominent issue not only all over America, but specifically for young students.

It’s nice that she [Swift] wasn’t doing it for the money and [was] just trying to make a point with her fan base,” sophomore Sophie Roth said.

“Yes, [sexual assault] is [relevant to high school students and should be discussed], because I mean, we’re young, we’re dumb, we don’t make the best decisions and we’re not smart about what we do, so it’s important for us to know about [sexual assault],” sophomore Jack Schultz said.

Schultz  also went on to say that he wholeheartedly agreed with Swift’s actions against Mueller.

Freshmen Jennifer Cristopulos, Jalissa Matute and Dhariana Lopez were particularly opinionated about Swift’s trial.

They all expressed the urgency of Taylor Swift going to trial and having the courage to stand up for her own as well as other women’s rights. The fact that she won was huge to the three because they claim it brings awareness to the ideology that men think it’s okay to disrespect women, which it is not.  

Taylor Swift’s trial impacted women and girls everywhere and was a monumental victory for young victims of sexual assault all over the world. Between empowering young high school students to other pop singers who’ve suffered the same, Swift has truly made an impact on the community of sexual harassment victims. This case sets the precedent for young adults to speak up for themselves in situations of sexual assault.