“It’s from this paralyzing fear that I’ve experienced for almost 10 years”
Lady Gaga has been an incredible force and advocate against sexual assault and violence. A victim herself, she has used her celebrity platform to speak out and elevate conversation about the “taboo” subject. “I feel physical pain,” she said during an interview with Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. “I actually suffer from chronic pain and it’s from this paralyzing fear that I’ve experienced for almost 10 years. When something traumatic happens, your brain disconnects so that it can handle it. But, it stays in your body, in your tissues, physically in you.”
Just this week, she opened up on Instagram about how she continues to deal with the chronic pain she experiences. “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she captioned the below photo. “I think about Joanne too and her strength and the day gets a little easier.”
Sexual assault is an issue that we can only work to minimize through conversation, but because many people feel uncomfortable discussing it, it is often avoided. Lady Gaga has said that she herself has dealt with people ignoring what she says when she tries to bring the topic to conversation. “I was assaulted as a young girl and I have never told anybody,” she explained. “I’ve sort of tried to kind of say it [in interviews] but it always gets sort of swept under or nobody really says anything and they move on to some different gossip and you start to just feel like people don’t care and I didn’t think that anybody would care.”
Despite her celebrity and the numerous opportunities and resources that come along with her status, her experience is something she still struggles with. “It’s the thing that I am the most ashamed of in my life and I’ve always felt that it was my fault,” she said. “I have all the resources in the world to get through it and I’m still not over it.”
In February 2016, she delivered an incredibly moving performance of her song “Til It Happens to You” at the Oscars. She was joined on stage by 51 sexual assault victims during her emotional rendition, which was written from her personal experience with sexual violence. The performance brought the issue of sexual violence to the forefront of conversation, especially on social media, which Lady Gaga believes is rare, but important.
“There’s definitely a stigma around this song, in addition to there being a stigma around sexual assault that people kind of shut down when you start talking about it and they don’t know what to say and that’s actually what happens to people who have been through a traumatic experience,” she said during an interview on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. “We [victims] shut down as well, so the conversation doesn’t really happen at all. If we don’t talk about these world issues in a deep way, we’re not going to solve any of these problems,” she concluded. “I thought that the Oscars was such a turning point for the world.”
We think it’s really incredible that she is using her platform in such an important way. Sexual assault is a really serious problem that we all need to work together to end, and the only way to do that is to talk about it. Sexual assault can leave victims feeling hollowed and isolated but it is so important that you are never alone in your struggle. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, please click here to find important resources that can help.
“Hope this helps some of you, it helps me to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed. Love you and thank you for all your positive messages.”