*Warning: This article contains talk of sexual assault and rape and may be triggering to some readers.*
There has been a lot of speculation this year as to who would get the title of 'Person of The Year' in Time Magazine. President Donald Trump tweeted about him "PROBABLY" going to be on the cover.
TIME, then tweeted back with a statement about them not releasing any details as to whom the cover would be featuring.
This morning, TIME's editor-in-chief revealed on The Today Show that this years 'Person of The Year' would be the women who assisted in propelling the #MeToo movement forward, "The Silence Breakers."
The #MeToo movement was a social media phenomenon that took over so many women, and men's, social media statuses. Some chose to share their personal stories, while others just simply posted #MeToo, showing their solidarity that they have been survivors, but did not want to share their stories. With the #MeToo internet sensation, one thing that is hard to remember is that countless women whom have been victims of sexual abuse did not share in posting. Many victims of sexual assault and rape, did not escape with their lives. Countless men and women are murdered during, before, or after, their assaults take place.
Not all sexual assault allegations are related to rape. According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics sexual assault is defined as, "A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. It also includes verbal threats."
According to a Sexual Violence data sheet from The CDC, 1 in 20 men and women will experience a form of sexual assaults in their lives, while nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men experienced rape at some point in their lives. The largest percentage of rape victims were assaulted before they were of legal age with 42.2% having been taken advantage of previous to their 18th birthday.
TIME features many pioneers of the movement including Tarana Burke who started Me Too over ten years ago.
The magazine also features women like Oregon state Senator Sara Geiser who filed a formal complaint against another politician and detailed another 15 women who have had a similar experience. Ashley Judd who started the downpour of allegations against Hollywood front man Harvey Weinstein declaring that after inviting her to his hotel room, he greeted her at the door in only a bathrobe and asked to give her a massage in exchange for watching him shower. Taylor Swift also dons the cover after her trial against a Denver radio DJ who groped her at a meet and greet.
One of the most empowering images on the cover is the woman whose face has been obscured. The obscured face is to represent the women who have not come forward. Some want to, but have not yet found the strength to do so, or maybe have no intention of ever saying what happened to them. Women who have faced these trials in their lives do not owe anyone their stories. To these women, their story is extremely personal, and is not owed to the world. We must respect these people, it doesn't make them any weaker than those who have chosen to come forward.
While women are the front runners of this story, men are also sexually taken advantage of. Men in Hollywood such as Terry Crews, and many more, have reported been sexually taken advantage of.
In the year of people striving to make sexual assault allegations be taken more seriously by police, the media, and in the world, I could think of no better person, or movement, to earn the title as 'Person of The Year.'
Make sure to check out TIME's website and their 'Person of The Year' magazine issue for more information of the movement and these courageous people.