It doesn’t matter if you hate her or you love her. It doesn’t matter if you think that her music stinks or her music is amazing. That stuff… it doesn’t matter. And to everyone who thinks that Taylor Swift did not deserve to be in this beautiful addition of TIME Magazine, I hope you can take a moment to listen to me.
I was sexually assaulted when I was in college, at a friend’s birthday party. I drank a lot, trying to numb myself from the breakup I had just gone through. In pictures, you see me wearing a tiny silver skirt and a black blouse. I wanted to feel confident in my own body for once. And the ironic thing about it is, that when I was assaulted in a blow up mattress on my friend’s bedroom floor, I was wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants.
Still, it took me a long time to not blame myself. I had drank too much. The details were blurry. I pushed him off of me but I don’t remember if I said no or not. Was it my fault?
No. No. No.
In the latest issue of TIME magazine, Taylor Swift was interviewed about her time on trial regarding a sexual assault that took place in 2013.
She writes, “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.”
When I read her words, I immediately felt better. Stronger. And understood.
It’s been five years since that guy on the floor assaulted me. It’s been five years since I called 911 and rode in the police car with my best friend. It’s been five years since I hashed out every single detail to a serious, male police officer. And it’s been five years since the detectives blamed ME.
It doesn’t matter the severity of the assault. Taylor Swift was grabbed from her behind, and I was touched deep inside of me. But we are the same. Because our bodies were violated. Our bodies all of a sudden, weren’t in our control anymore.
I’m so happy she won the case. I’m also grateful that she acknowledges that even after winning, it’s still such a lonely place to be in and to experience. In the issue, she talks a lot about people trying to make her feel guilty for that man losing his job. She talks a lot about people trying to make her think that this assault was her fault. And just like her, the same can be said for me.
The detectives told me straight to my face that I would never win the case. They told me straight to my face that I had no evidence. And they told me straight to my face that I would never win because I was drunk. Can we let that sink in for a moment?
It’s so terribly sad that the police force and society which we are all supposed to have trust in, can fail you so miserably.
I know Taylor’s a celebrity and a star and she is a powerful force. But if I’m being honest, I have never felt as close to her, as I do now. We are different in so many ways. She is an icon. I’m just a writer. But she made me feel less alone. She made me feel like, if I could ever talk to her about this, she would understand.
And maybe that’s all that matters.