Rape is probably one of the most terrifying experiences that women can find themselves in, regardless of where they are. While rape can also happen to men, women are overwhelmingly the targets for sexual assault. It is a crime that knows no boundaries, and goes across all lines of social status. With the release of her new song, Til It Happens To You, Lady Gaga unflinchingly confronts the issue of campus rape.
The video depicts three different rapes, and Lady Gaga, along with director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen) confronts campus rape in horrifyingly real ways. The song initially bowed in January as part of a documentary about campus sexual assault, called The Hunting Ground. In the video for Til It Happens To You, there are scenes where actress Nikki Reed is sexually assaulted in her dorm room, and actress Kiersey Clemons becomes the victim of date rape after attending a party with her friend.
Mother Monster made headlines when she admitted during Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show that she had been raped at 19. Now 29, the singer-songwriter is now actively doing her part to prevent campus rape. Not only has she released Til It Happens To You, Lady Gaga also teamed with New York governor Andrew Cuomo to pen an op-ed in support of a bill that the two believe confronts the issue of campus rape.
“The likelihood that college students are not getting the assistance and support they deserve is heartbreaking, and the knowledge that sexual predators are left free to attack again is criminal,” Lady Gaga said, acknowledging that the proposed bill confronts campus rape in significant ways.
In covering the op-ed penned by the duo, ET Online reports the bill confronts campus rape by offering training for staff and students, outlining an amnesty program for those reporting sexual assault that were under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when the incident took place, and a concise definition of what consent is, according to the op-ed.
The video says near the end that “1 in 5 college women will be sexually assaulted this year unless something changes,” according to Billboard, and then directs sexual assault victims to see the Facebook page for The Hunting Ground and to seek support from www.itsonus.org, which is the website the White House established to help male and female victims of sexual assault.
On September 18, Lady Gaga tweeted her support for sexual assault survivors and acknowledged that survivors need to realize that they truly are not alone as they struggle through the aftermath of sexual assault.
We hope u feel our love&solidarity through the song & perhaps find some peace in knowing u r not alone through this film #TilItHappensToYou— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) September 18, 2015
As the video for Til It Happens To You confronts campus rape, it is also raising funds to help those who have survived sexual assault. Sexual assault continues to occur for both male and female victims worldwide, and as Lady Gaga bravely confronts campus rape, it can only be hoped that awareness in how to confront the issue will continue to grow.
[Photo by Gary Gershoff / Getty Images Entertainment]