Okay, LIPTalk Nation, did you catch the Oscars a couple days ago? I didn’t for many reasons, but word has quickly spread about Lady Gaga’s soul touching performance, “Til It Happens to You”. Before I share my thoughts on this song and her performance, I’m asking that you put aside all political views and really grab a hold of what this song was about. YES, I’m going to say it, the song is about SEXUAL ABUSE.
As I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday, I came across many post’s about the Oscars and eventually clicked on the actual music video of “Til It Happens to You”. When it first started playing, I read the warning of how the graphic content could be emotionally unsettling, but, I seriously thought I was going to be emotionally fine. I knew that the song was about SEXUAL ABUSE, but figured since I dealt with my past of being sexually abused I was going to be okay. I WAS NOT OKAY!! Then….. I watched Lady Gaga’s performance at the Oscars.
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As tears were pouring down my face, I couldn’t help but think of my past. NO, I am not a survivor of sexual abuse as a college student, but I am a survivor of sexual abuse as a little girl. I remember what it’s like to hate myself; and I remember what it’s like to think I’m worthless. When I continued to watch Lady Gaga’s performance, I became overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to RAISE my voice even louder. All of the people on stage with her are survivor’s of SEXUAL ABUSE; and on their arms were positive words written NOT YOUR FAULT, SURVIVOR and YOU ARE LOVED. This may shock you if you haven’t scene the video yet, but both young women and men were on stage with her. ALL of them are survivors.
WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE
I have found in my research that 1 in 5 women will be sexually abused while in college and 1 in 3 girls, under the age 18, will be sexually abused; and that is here in AMERICA!! DOES THIS NOT ALARM YOU?? That means the chances of being sexually abused as a child and as a young adult are TOO HIGH. I have a theory LIPTalk Nation: If we start talking about our own stories of abuse, than we can change these statistics. It took me years to share my story. WHY? Because I was told not to tell. Those words haunted me. I thought it was my fault. I thought if I would tell, than I was the one doing something wrong. It has been in the last few years that I have learned that it wasn’t my fault. I was carrying a guilt that wasn’t even mine. Do you realize, if you talk about your story, you are also putting the guilt back on the perpetrator? Where it belongs.
In generations past, it has been taught, that anything SEX related even if it was a good thing, was kept quiet or to sweep things under the rug. This philosophy is known as suppression. If you know anything about me by now, is that I strongly believe SUPPRESSION leads to DEPRESSION. This includes physical ailments and high anxiety. No wonder the statistics are too close to home. Many are living by the wrong philosophy. It’s time to talk about it.
WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED
Lady Gaga had the crowd in tears. The whole purpose for this song “Til It Happens to You” is to raise awareness for SEXUAL ABUSE happening on college campuses. The title is true, you won’t understand until it happens to you. But did you see the crowd give her a standing ovation? Many in the audience probably haven’t experienced SEXUAL ABUSE but they could empathize. It wasn’t because of the entertainment value, it was to SUPPORT her and the reason why she sang it. The standing ovation also created a safe environment for ALL who were on that stage during the performance. That’s exactly what any person, who has experienced abuse, needs: A safe environment. I have often heard stories of people who have experienced sexual abuse and do not get the support from their family like they had hoped they would. I think the real reason why is because people fear the unknown and anything that makes them feel uncomfortable they have a tendency to not know how to talk about it.
My advice to someone who is wanting to show support to those who have been abused is to:
LET THEM FEEL. There is no right or wrong way to feel in the beginning. From my own experience, when I give myself permission to feel, I am able to figure things out. Then the second thing I would advice you to do to show support is
HELP THEM STOP THE LIES. The victim/survivor has been telling themselves that it’s their fault and they aren’t good enough and this mindset leads to depression and sometimes suicide. Tell them they are loved. Tell them “It’s not your fault.” AND Tell them, “You are worthy.”
This song is going to raise awareness for so much more than it’s intentions.
LIPTalk Nation, are any of you still to scared to share your story? Do you feel like nothing can be done if you share your story now because you are so old or too much time has been since the incident? Remember, talking about it helps you release the false guilt you are feeling and giving it back to where it belongs. Maybe I should ask you “Why is it okay to not share your story”?
I am asking for you to be brave. Share your story. You are somebody’s hero. This isn’t about a political agenda, this is about ending the violence. SEXUAL ABUSE IS NOT OKAY. Abuse in any form is NOT OKAY.
Thank you for reading this blog on Life In Purple. Where the broken can heal and the successful can conquer. If you’re thinking that this blog was just for you, or you have a story to share that connects with other blogs or episodes, I would LOVE to hear from you. Send me a quick email to Laura@lauraspragg.com or check out our website at www.liptalknation.com. Let’s all rise together and create a community that stops the negative talk. We ARE wonderfully made. What you say is what you become.