Swifties are aware of how important the topic of sexual assault is to Taylor. She was recognized as one of Time magazine's silence breakers in 2017 after winning her groundbreaking sexual assault case against radio DJ David Mueller, famously counter-suing for one symbolic dollar.
Her story and trial brought attention to several important issues including the gross under-reporting of sexual assault. This awful event in Taylor's life also inspired her to use her voice to speak out on other issues. We have had this month allocated to this cause all along, but with the release of "Miss Americana" it seems all the more fitting that we dedicate our time and funds to this cause NOW.
Following the conclusion of the trial, Taylor made a generous donation to the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization who's mission "is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.” Inspired by her research done for Law & Order SVU , the scripts and storylines as well as letters received by victims and survivors, Joyful Heart was founded by Taylor's friend Mariska Hargitay.
They offer a number of services and focus on education and advocacy. To me their most impressive initiative is the huge undertaking of ending the untested rape kit backlog. An exerpt from their website explains this incredible undertaking:
"Since 2010, Joyful Heart has made the elimination of the rape kit backlog a top priority through our End the Backlog initiative. Together with partners in federal, state, and local government, non-profit organizations, law enforcement, advocates, and survivors, we are working to improve the criminal justice response to sexual violence. We are at the forefront of identifying backlogs of untested rape kit evidence in cities across the country; advocating for funding to test backlogged kits and investigate cases; appealing for laws and policies to prevent backlogs from occurring again; and working with jurisdictions to assist them to develop and implement survivor-centered reforms.
Through endthebacklog.org, the first and only online hub for information about the rape kit backlog, we are sharing best practices, resources, progress on reform, and a way for people to join this growing movement.
Joyful Heart has identified more than 225,000 untested rape kits sitting in police, crime lab, or other storage facilities across the U.S. And with several states remaining that have yet to count the untested rape kits in their possession, we believe there are several hundred thousand more yet to be discovered. In 2016 we launched a national campaign based on six essential pillars for reform. The goal: to pass comprehensive rape kit reform legislation in all 50 states."
Please join us in supporting this wonderful organization. 💗