Lady Gaga has opened up about being raped as a teenager, dealing with the experience and how it changed her as a person in a Timetalks panel discussion ahead of the release of horrific rape-on-campus documentary ‘The Hunting Ground’.
Gaga’s track ‘Til It Happens To You’ is about her teenage assault, which Gaga told the panel affected both her emotional state and changed her body physically.
Us Magazine reports Gaga (real name Stefani Germanotta) saying to the panel:
“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.”
“When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications on you,” Gaga continued. “For many people it is 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.”
Us Magazine also report Lady Gaga as saying her rape “changed my body.”
“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,” she said. “That it was my fault.”
“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,” she said. “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.”
Lady Gaga first spoke about being raped by a producer she was working with as a teenager late last year, and has since written an open letter urging legislation to deal with incidents of campus attacks.
In the letter, published in June, she says:
“We have a responsibility to the young men and women of this country to stand up against sexual violence everywhere. Everyone – from lawmakers and educators to advocates like Born This Way Foundation and the students themselves – need to join forces on this issue. Together, we must create the scaffolding necessary to foster the mental, emotional, and physical health of all young people.
“By passing legislation such as the bill currently before the New York State legislature, we can turn the tide on this issue so that students can realize their dreams on campuses that are safe spaces. That’s why we are joining together to take a stand against sexual assault on college campuses. Quite simply, enough is enough.”
Lady Gaga launched the ‘Emotional Youth’ revolution scheme earlier this year. It is a partnership between the star’s own Born This Way foundation and Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence. The singer says that she aims to create a “braver world where all voices are heard and all feelings are respected”.