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Girls & Women

Lady Gaga delivers a powerful performance at the Oscars shining a spotlight on sexual assault survivors

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Last night at the Oscars, Lady Gaga performed the Oscar nominated song “Til It Happens to You.”

Featured in The Hunting Ground, a documentary about the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, Lady Gaga passionately sings: “Till it happens to you, you won’t know how it feels.”

The performance was introduced by US Vice President Joe Biden.  Biden has worked extensively to promote the White House Campaign, “It’s on Us” - which aims to end sexual assault on college campuses.

“Too many women and men, on and off college campuses, are still victims of sexual abuse,” he said.

Biden asked the audience to take a pledge, and say, “I will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.”

“Let’s change the culture,” he urged the audience in the theater and the millions of people watching. “We must and we can change the culture, so that no abused woman or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, ever feel they have to ask themselves ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”

via GIPHY

An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her time in college, and of those assaults, just 12 percent are reported, according to White House statistics.

One… in five.

As I write this story I workside a team of 5 women, and 2 men.

Sadly, that statistic doesn’t escape us - any of us, female or male. 

According to the NSVRC, one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.

Lady Gaga was accompanied on stage with men and women, all victims of sexual assault. The courageous survivors took the stage with statements like, “Not my fault”, “Survivor”, and “It happened to me” written on their outstretched arms.

In December of 2014, Lady Gaga revealed that she had been abused by a music industry colleague, when she was 19. The experience was an inspiration for this song.

“You tell me it gets better, in time” she sang. “Till it happens to you, you won't know how I feel.”

Gaga, has since been an active supporter and public figure in the fight against sexual assault and domestic violence.

Shortly, before the memorable Oscar performance the singer and activist posted a photo on her instagram with her fiance Taylor Kinney.

Lady Gaga stands as a symbol of hope for all the victims of sexual assault, remind them: 

What happened to you is not your fault.

No one can tell you how to feel.

And one day, on your own time, you will become a survivor and no longer a victim.