Time magazine's "Person of the Year" portrait included actress Ashley Judd, musician Taylor Swift, Adama Iwu, Isabel Pascual, Susan Fowler and one woman you can't see. Only her elbow is visible in the photo.
Some readers thought this was an error that should have been retouched or that a sixth woman had been cropped out of the photo, said TheMighty.com.
In fact, as Time editor Edward Felsenthal explained on "The Today Show," the woman was intentionally represented anonymously.
"The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to...who doesn’t feel that she can come forward without threatening her livelihood,” Felsenthal explained.
WATCH: “The image you see partially on the cover is of a woman we talked to… who doesn’t feel that she can come for… https://t.co/XU76RGwlH2— TODAY (@TODAY)1512563945.0
Time's national correspondent Charlotte Alter told BuzzFeed, "The stray elbow on Time’s Person of the Year cover is meant to include victims of sexual harassment who have to stay anonymous: It’s still really difficult for a lot of women to come forward."
"According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), approximately two out of every three sexual assaults go unreported. There are a number of reasons why people decide not to report — from fear of testifying or concerns their attacker might retaliate — all valid concerns considering that out of every 1,000 rapes only six perpetrators will go to jail," said The Mighty's Jordan Davidson.