Lady Gaga has relived the trauma of being raped as a teenager in an effort to stop women suffering in silence like she did for 7 years after the sexual assault.
The 29-year-old pop icon has already recorded a song entitled 'Til It Happens to You' to promote the harrowing documentary The Hunting Ground, which explores the chronically under reported crime of campus rape, and now she has lent her own deeply personal experience to the cause.
During a TimesTalks session for the film in NYC, Gaga candidly spoke out about how the rape altered the course of her life, she explained to a panel of women that:
"I didn't tell anyone for I think seven years I didn't know how to think about it. I didn't know how to accept it. I didn't know how not to blame myself, or think it was my fault. It was something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely.”
The pain that Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) went through was not only emotional, she explained how it led her own body to become an agonizing battleground when she said:
"It changed my body. When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn't just have the immediate physical ramifications on you. For many people it has almost like trauma. When you re-experience it throughout the years after it, it can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress, so a lot of people suffer from not only mental and emotional pain, but also physical pain of being abused, raped, or traumatized in some type of way."
Thanks to a culture of victim blaming and years working in an industry that can aggressively sexualize women, Gaga also explained how she found it difficult to come to terms with the fact that being raped was not her fault, she said:
"Because of the way that I dress, and the way that I'm provocative as a person, I thought that I had brought it on myself in some way, that it was my fault.”
Although the experience was obviously deeply traumatic, Gaga's main incentive was to let other victims know that there is hope and that they are not alone in their emotional pain, she explained:
"I'm here because when I look out onto the sea of beautiful young faces that I get to sing and dance for, I see a lot of people who have secrets that are killing them. We don't want you to keep your pain inside and let it rot like an old apple on your counter, you know? It's like, just get rid of all that trash. Let's get rid of it together."
(Source: US Weekly)