August 15th, 2017; New York Times
It is being reported that Taylor Smith has made a “generous donation to the Joyful Heart Foundation. As many readers know, Joyful Heart has taken on the problem of the hundreds of thousands of unprocessed rape kits sitting in storage facilities all over this country. The abandonment of the kits has made prosecutions moot and put women’s safety at risk where serial rapists are at work.
Swift won a countersuit for sexual assault last week against David Mueller, a former radio host who sued her, claiming she falsely accused him of groping her during a photo shoot in 2013. Advocates and survivors of sexual assault were largely appreciative of the star’s comportment, which was unbowed.
“The language she used was really important,” said one survivor. “She didn’t act submissive and polite like women often do. She was honest. The language she used was raw.”
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The New York Times shared comments from Fatima Gross Graves, president and chief executive of the National Women’s Law center:
What was not typical in Ms. Swift’s case, Ms. Goss Graves said, “was how effectively and persistently she reminded everyone of his conduct,” in unfiltered language. It is not, she and other experts in the field said, an easy thing to do—and not an approach that all victims would feel comfortable adopting. But the fact that the assault happened to Ms. Swift, a wealthy and powerful young woman with the outsize self-assurance of a celebrity, is a reminder that harassment can strike anyone. “Your belief in yourself isn’t a protective shield to someone’s inappropriate conduct,” Ms. Goss Graves said.
Swift did not just walk away from the whole thing as an extraordinary feminist hero; she acknowledged her privilege and vowed to make a generous donation to an organization advocating for other survivors. “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,” she said in a statement after the verdict was read. “My hope is to help those whose voices should also be heard.”—Ruth McCambridge