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Lady Gaga's Powerful New Tattoo Is A Testament To Sexual Assault Survivors

Emma Loewe
Author:
March 05, 2016
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
March 05, 2016

Lady Gaga was accompanied on stage by victims of sexual assault during her supercharged performance of "Til It Happens To You" at this year's Oscars. The chorus of survivors all had phrases like "NOT YOUR FAULT" and "NOT ALONE" written on their arms, but they also left the stage marked with a more permanent reminder of their bond.

Most of the sexual assault survivors—including Gaga herself—have matching tattoos to commemorate their shared experience.

The tattoo combines the universal sign of unity with a rose on fire into a symbol of solidarity and strength. Jackie Lin—one of the survivors who joined Gaga onstage—got the idea for its design during a dress rehearsal for the Oscars.

"It's not something that makes us depressed—it's just something we can look at and remind us that there are other people going through this together, and we are fighting," Lin told The Huffington Post.

Some two dozen of the survivors went to get the tattoos the night before their performance. Gaga then inked the same symbol on her shoulder on Thursday.

"I was really having a hard time getting ready for this performance... Then I went out there and met the survivors and I just started crying," Gaga said in a recent radio interview. "One girl said 'I really want to get matching tattoos' because she was trying to make me feel not alone. She was dead on... I ended up getting the tattoo because it was what they said to me that made me feel like the pain was lessening. My healing process has now begun because I've told somebody and I know I'm not alone."

According to Lin, survivors around the world have responded to the symbol's enduring sense of community.

"Other survivors who weren't onstage with us at the Oscars—even from the other countries—have reached out, and some have already even gotten the tattoo. That's incredible knowing that a lot of people are now coming out with their story and getting that tattoo," she said.

Whether or not you're a fan of tats, this is an easy one to get behind.

Related read: Lady Gaga's Family Didn't Know About Her Rape Until Her Oscar's Performance

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