With her bleach-blonde hair and flashy clothes, Lady Gaga might seem like an unorthodox match with former Vice President Joe Biden. The unlikely duo recently teamed up and released a PSA as part of the “It’s On Us” campaign.
“There is, I believe, no greater pain that a parent can experience than their son or daughter being victimized,” Biden said when he and Obama first launched the campaign.
According to Biden, 21,000 crimes occur each week, and about one in 10 college women face assault. During this time, Biden also educated students in Columbus and at the University of Pittsburgh about the realities of sexual assault.
In the PSA, Biden describes how Gaga demonstrates immense courage as she raises awareness about sexual assault and acts as a spokesperson for the voiceless in society.
“Lady Gaga has been the voice for the people who have been forgotten, the people who have been abused,” Biden said.
Biden emphasizes the importance of preventing abuse and reminds viewers that abuse is not permissible under any circumstances.
“We want to make it real clear – it’s on us, it’s on everyone to intervene, to stop abuse when they see it and when they hear about it – to intervene,” Biden said in the PSA, “No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman for any reason, other than self defense ever, period. “
After Biden’s message, Gaga shared the feelings she endured as a result of her own experiences with sexual assault. Lady Gaga has been a major voice in raising awareness about sexual assault since 2014.
“I am a sexual assault survivor, and I know the effects, the aftermath, the trauma, the psychological, physical, mental… it can be terrifying, waking up everyday, feeling unsafe in your own body,” Gaga said.
Gaga reminded viewers that it is important for sexual assault survivors to reach out to someone they trust for support. The singer first opened up about her experience with sexual assault on Howard Stern in December 2014. She revealed that she was raped at 19 by a music producer, who was 20 years her senior, and with whom she worked closely. During the show, Gaga discussed how that memory influenced her song lyrics, especially in the song, “Swine.”
“The song is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion. I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release,” Gaga said.
Based off Gaga’s experiences, Gaga and Diane Warren co-wrote the song “Til It Happens To You,” which reflects the reality of sexual assault on college campuses, Billboard says. This song appeared in The Hunting Ground documentary.
A slide at the beginning of her music video for “Til It Happens To You” reads, “The following contains graphic content that may be emotionally unsettling but reflects the reality of what is happening daily on college campuses.”
This video contains scenes that demonstrate situations that many college students face, such as a man slipping a date rape drug into two glasses.
Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke directed the music video and explained how the situation affected her in an interview with People. Hardwicke hoped people would understand the severity of sexual assault as a result of the video’s intense scenes.
“When we were collaborating together, Diane goes, ‘Catherine, you’ve gotta hear this song.’ Of course when I heard it, I listened to it over and over,” Hardwicke said. “So I thought, ‘Let’s really make a real video so that you can feel what it’s like to go through this, feel the effect it has on other people.”
Lady Gaga and Joe Biden have taken important steps in battling a prevalent issue through which several college students, men, and women have lived. This PSA reminds people in the United States and other countries that it’s okay to ask for help. Additionally, it encourages society to speak up instead of staying silent.
Those who wish to help prevent sexual assault can take the pledge.
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