Lady Gaga, known for using her music for social activism, has just released her most powerful creation yet: a music video for her first single of the year "Til It Happens to You."
The song was written by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga for The Hunting Ground, a documentary film about on-campus sexual assaults in the United States, and the music video doubles as a PSA for the same issue.
The video, directed by Twilight’s Catherine Hardwicke, is a deeply unnerving montage of sexual assault stories.
A woman is violently attacked by a friend in her dorm room; a queer woman wearing a binder is raped in the shared men's restroom; two friends are drugged and assaulted after a party.
It ends on a hopeful note, though; the women eventually get help from their support groups and stand with them in solidarity — tall, proud survivors rather than cowering victims — as Gaga sings,“Till it happens to you, you won’t know how it feels.”
Needless to say, it's difficult to watch, but given how commonplace these instances are, it's very important to see.
You can watch it here (but please be warned that it contains graphic content):
"I hope that this PSA, with its raw and truthful portrayals, will send a clear message that we need to support these courageous survivors and end this epidemic plaguing our college campuses," Hardwicke said in a statement to The Huffington Post.
Gaga tweeted that the song is “for people all over the world who suffer from painful life experiences.” She continued: “We hope u feel our love&solidarity through the song & perhaps find some peace in knowing u r not alone through this film."
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the song, available on iTunes and other major music services, will be donated to organizations helping survivors of sexual assault.
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