Lady Gaga’s New Song Sings the Bitter Truth About Campus Rape
The college football season is not the only game underway on campus this year. Over the weekend, Lady Gaga released a new song accompanied by clips from the recently released documentary, The Hunting Ground, which traces the personal nightmare of victims of campus rape. It is estimated that for every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year.
Upon release, Gaga tweeted “We hope u feel our love & solidarity through the song & perhaps find some peace in knowing u r not alone through this film#TilItHappensToYou”.
The song is the audio track for black and white clips of three different incidents of rape and the dark aftermath that follows its victims. According to ET, Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke directed this film and was able to capture the layers of suffering and shame of a sexual assault epidemic that affects women college students nationwide. Gaga’s new song not only portrays the trauma and stigma associated with sexual assault, it highlights how essential on campus rape resources and community support are for survivors. To that end, she is giving a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her song to organizations that offer direct support survivors of sexual assault. The music video features the well-known actress Nikki Reed, known for her appearances in Twilight, and Kiersey Clemons, who appeared in the movie Dope. ‘Til It Happens to You’ is in keeping with Gaga’s commitment to spread awareness of the sexual assault epidemic. Most recently, Gaga and New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo worked together to create an op-ed in support of a bill that could help decrease sexual assault on college campuses. According to an interview with ET, Gaga and Cuomo together stated, “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.”
In the end, ‘Til It Happens to You’ is both a jolt of a reality about campus rape and a stark warning that the hunting game shows no sign of slowing down.