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WATCH: Lady Gaga's Powerful Video for 'Til It Happens to You' Addresses Campus Sexual Assault

WATCH: Lady Gaga's Powerful Video for 'Til It Happens to You' Addresses Campus Sexual Assault

WATCH: Lady Gaga's Powerful Video for 'Til It Happens to You' Addresses Campus Sexual Assault

A campus rape PSA that directly represents the queer community just released.

This piece about Lady Gaga's most recent music video release should have the same trigger warning for content that the video starts with:

"The following contains graphic content that may be unsettling but reflects the reality of what is happening daily on college campuses."

The powerful video echoes the revelation that Lady Gaga made while speaking to radio personality Howard Stern in mid-December last year - that she herself is a survivor of sexual assault, an assault which occurred when she was just 19, an age when many young students are first settling into college campuses around the country.

And arriving in the first few weeks of semester, a period known as the most statistically likely for assaults to happen, this video comes at a time when the White House has recently announced its second year goals for its campaign against sexual violence on campuses, 'It's On Us'. And just days after Democratic Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, made her own statements about sexual assault on campuses.


At the time of the interview with Stern, Gaga said that she had struggled with openly speaking about her experience, because she was nervous about being defined through it - an issue that assault survivors can often wrestle with.

In the interview, she spoke about her song Swine, and her relationship to the assault that song deals with, saying "I'll be damned if somebody's gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead [who] did that to me, I'm going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful and all the things that I've made out of my strife. I did that.

The video released at midnight last night, Til It Happens To You, sends a clear message to people who are supporting those who have experienced assault:

And it also depicts the evolving relationship the artist clearly has with her own experiences, as well as the experiences of non-binary, queer, lesbian and gay students in hard-to-watch scenes of assault and its aftermath.

The video is new, but the song may be familiar - it featured for the closing credits on the profoundly moving documentary The Hunting Ground (from the makers of The Invisible War), a film about the fight by survivors to End Rape On Campus and their work taking on college administrations in that battle. The song was written by Gaga expressly for the film in a collaboration that breaks the mold for the artist, and likely has the power to change many lives, including many in the gay, lesbian and queer communities.

Watch the stark black and white video, and let yourself be moved to support those who have experienced assault, as we watch happen in the film clip:


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Genevieve Berrick