Yesterday (September 17), Lady Gaga released a new music video and public service announcement about sexual assault on campus. Scroll down to watch it.
“Til It Happens To You” tells it like it is from a survivor’s perspective. Punctuated by the refrain “‘Til it happens to you, you won’t know how I feel,” the lyrics describe how devastating and life-changing it is to be raped…and how unrealistic and unfair others’ expectations can be. These words are made more meaningful by the video, which depicts a series of acquaintance rapes as they unfold, the victims’ faces expressing their terror and sense of degradation. Intermittently, it cuts to a party where students laugh and dance, having no idea what is occurring nearby.
A word of caution: the content is very realistic. If you are a survivor, this video has the potential to be re-traumatizing, although it culminates in an message of empowerment. You will know what is best for you. For others, this video should strengthen your resolve to end rape on campus and help you better understand what survivors are going through.
Lady Gaga Speaks Out About Sexual Assault
Lady Gaga knows what she’s singing about, having been sexually assaulted when she was 19. She has long been an advocate for survivors. In June, she wrote an open letter to NY Governor Cuomo about the “epidemic of sexual violence” on campus and urging passage of the state’s “Enough is Enough” campus sexual assault bill.
Upon releasing her “Til It Happens To You” video, she tweeted:
“We hope u feel our love & solidarity through the song & perhaps find some peace in knowing u r not alone through this film.”
About the Film: “The Hunting Ground”
“Til It Happens To You” is the theme song from “The Hunting Ground,” a much-lauded documentary about rape culture on campus. Released earlier this year, it spurred the reintroduction of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act in Senate.