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Silence Breakers

While many have applauded Time magazine's decision to honour the women who were instrumental in launching a movement which highlighted the pervasive nature of sexual violence, not everyone is impressed.

The publication's annual Person of the Year came in the form of many people, now known as The Silence Breakers, and while Demi Lovato praises their choice, she's outraged by their chosen runner-up.

Referring to the cover which features Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift, and Isabel Pascual, the singer took issue with the publication's decision to place Donald Trump in second place.

Taking to Twitter in recent days, Demi wrote: "Time mag highlights brave women coming forward against sexual assault on the cover but names a man with sexual assault allegations against him runner up to person of the year.. Really @TIME? #hypocrites." 

Demi's outrage can be seen in her follow-up tweet where she says she felt compelled to speak out as praise was heaped upon the iconic cover. 

"I’ve become less vocal about my distain for certain people over the past year because it only divides our country even more but this is worth speaking up about. @TIME mag – very disappointed in your hypocrisy and disrespect toward the women on your cover," she added.

Questioning the process which determines the winner, she added: "To be named POTY by @TIME it should be for doing something positive or brave LIKE the women on the cover. It’s annoying that it’s just about impact on the news."

Demi's tweets have amassed tens of thousands of likes in recent days.

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Earlier this week, Time Magazine revealed that their annual Person of the Year would actually come in the form of many people, now known as The Silence Breakers.

Paying tribute to the voices that launched a movement which highlighted the pervasive nature of sexual violence and misogyny, Time featured Ashley Judd, Susan Fowler, Adama Iwu, Taylor Swift, and Isabel Pascual on their iconic cover.

However, you may have also noticed the arm of another person in the bottom right hand corner of the image which isn't actually attached to any of the women featured.

Explaining its presence, Time national correspondent Charlotte Alter told BuzzFeed News that the elbow was a deliberate inclusion, representing the women who came forward but chose to remain anonymous.

"In the bottom left of the cover, there is an arm where you just see the elbow and you don't see the person," she acknowledged "That's very intentional."

"That's an anonymous woman who is a hospital worker who was experiencing harassment and didn't feel that she could come forward [publicly]."

"It's important to include people who have to stay anonymous for professional reasons, who don't have the resources to weather what would happen if they lost their job or they couldn't support their families. So we wanted to include [these people] to really reference the risk that these women are taking by speaking out about this."

Like Taylor Swift, Charlotte accepted that while strides have been made, society still has a long way to go.

"A huge part of this story is that, as much as the stigma around this has been removed this year because of the Me Too movement, it's still really difficult for a lot of women to come forward."

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In August of this year, Taylor Swift testified in court against DJ David Mueller, who sexually assaulted her during a meet and greet in 2013.

The court heard that Mueller placed his hand under the singer's skirt and despite Taylor attempting to create distance between herself and him, Mueller did not release his grasp.

The high-profile court case made headline all over the world, with millions championing Taylor's courage and candour during her testimony.

Indeed, Time magazine has chosen to recognise the Shake It Off singer as one of their Silence Breakers – women who, this year, spoke out about the culture of sexual harassment and victim blaming.

Speaking to the acclaimed publication, Taylor insisted that victim-blaming has no place in society, saying: "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."

Taylor believes that, unfortunately, being able to navigate this attitude is vital, saying: "I would tell people who find themselves in this situation that there is a great deal of blame placed on the victims in cases of sexual harassment and assault."

"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," she urged.

Contemporary commentary would have you believe that we have turned a corner in this regard, but Taylor is eager to remind the public that there is still a long way to go.

"Even though awareness is higher than ever about workplace sexual harassment, there are still so many people who feel victimized, afraid and silenced by their abusers and circumstances," she asserted.

"When the jury found in my favour, the man who sexually assaulted me was court-ordered to give me a symbolic $1. To this day he has not paid me that dollar, and I think that act of defiance is symbolic in itself."

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