Influential people can help encourage survivors to report sexual assault.

                             Photo courtesy Eva Rinaldi

After almost two years out of the spotlight, Swift made a public stand for sexual assault survivors during her own trial by successfully counter-suing former DJ David Mueller for $1 after he groped her during a meet-and-greet in 2013. Mueller originally sued Swift for slander, alleging that Swift had falsely accused him of sexual assault, resulting in the loss of his job.

Swift’s actions against her assailant are admirable. By using her massive platform and access to the media, she stood up for herself in the face of sexual assault and harassment. This also encouraged other survivors to come forward and seek justice in a society in which that isn’t an easy task.

An extremely popular celebrity testifying in their own sexual assault case as a victim will help other sexual assault survivors come forward with their stories. The weekend following Swift’s testimony, United States anti-sexual abuse organization Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network saw a 35 per cent increase in calls from survivors of sexual assault and harassment, showing that media coverage of sexual assault survivors empowers other survivors.

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