Til It Happens To You

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The ‘Til it happens to you’ singer opens up about the emotional and physical ramifications of her sexual assault in hope of helping other victims

Lady Gaga’s ‘Til it happens to you’, which she co-wrote and recorded to accompany this year’s powerful campus sexual assault documentary ‘The Hunting Ground’, contains trenchant, heartbreaking lyrics about what it feels like to survive sexual assault. The song message and Gaga’s delivery of it is raw and real, and obviously personal to the singer. But until late this week, Gaga hadn’t opened up about what the song and documentary meant to her. According to Billboard, at a Times Talks panel this week to promote ‘The Hunting Ground’, Gaga shared that the subject matter resonates so deeply with her because she too is a sexual assault survivor.

Gaga spoke about being sexually assaulted at age 19 by a man 20 years her senior. She said the incident traumatized, shaped and changed her, “I didn’t tell anyone for, I think, seven years” she said. “I didn’t know how to think about it. I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how not to blame myself, or think it was my fault. It was something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely”.

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Gaga blamed herself at first, she explained, because of her provocative pop-music persona. “Because of the way I dress, and the way I’m provocative as a person, I thought I had brought it on myself in some way” she said. “That it was my fault” she added, the physical consequence’s of the sexual assault were just as painful as the emotional. “When you go through a trauma like that it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications, you go through a process of re-experiencing it through the years after, it can create patterns in your body of physical distress”.

Nearly a decade after the assault, Gaga was “able to laugh again, thanks to a lot of mental, physical and emotional therapy to gain healing”. But Gaga admitted that the song premiere was still very difficult and stressful for her. “Every time I listen to it, I cry. Every time I get a text about it, I always feel sick. It’s like the thing you don’t want to face”. Even so she is bravely speaking out about the sexual assault in hope that it helps heal her fans who’ve gone through something similar. “I’m here because when I look out into the sea of young faces that I get to sing and dance for, I see a lot of people who have secrets that are killing them. We don’t want you to keep your pain inside and let it rot like an old apple on the counter , instead lets get rid of all that trash, let’s do it together”.


Article taken from www.vanityfair.com

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