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“I was too ashamed” Lady Gaga on Surviving Sexual Abuse & why she hid it from her Family for 10 Years

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 28: Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

One of the most spectacular aspects of the 2016 Oscar’s was Lady Gaga’s performance.

The pop star was introduced on stage by Joe Biden and she went on to perform her song “Till It Happens To You”, a song about sexual assault survivors and is featured in the documentary The Hunting Ground about on-campus rape.

At the Oscars, the 29-year-old singer invited sexual assault survivors to join her on stage at the end of the performance and then they all held hands in unison when she finished singing.

According to reports, Lady Gaga’s family members did not know she had survived sexual abuse till after that performance.

Lady Gaga wrote on Instagram:

“My grandmother and my Aunt Sheri both called me the day after the Oscars because I never told them I was a survivor. I was too ashamed. Too afraid. And it took me a long time to even admit it to myself because I’m Catholic and I knew it was evil but I thought it was my fault. I thought it was my fault for ten years. The morning after the Oscars when I talked to my grandmother Ronnie, with tears in her eyes I could hear them welling through the phone she said to me: ‘My darling granddaughter, I’ve never been more proud of you than I am today. Something I have kept a secret for so long that I was more ashamed of than anything– became the thing the women in my life were the most proud of. And not just any women, the ones I look up to the most. #BeBrave #speakup #tilithappenstoyou”.

Lady Gaga also took to Instagram to appreciate her fiancé, Taylor Kinney. She wrote “I never thought anyone would ever love me because I felt like my body was ruined by my abuser. But he loves the survivor in me. He’s stood by me all night proud and unashamedly. THATS a real man. ❤”

Watch the performance below.


Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

39 Comments

  1. anon anon

    March 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I was raped (though no penetration) when I was little by one of d robbers dat robbed our house. No one knew..I didn’t know how 2 tell them ; I didn’t know d words 2 use 2 describe Wat he did to me…I felt my family will shame me and think that I now have knowledge of bad things.I was little and scared . Even till date I haven’t told anyone except my husband. It still hurts when I remember it . Let’s all endeavour to discuss sex with our kids . Be open with them so dat they can be able to tell u anything.there’s nothing wrong with talking about sex.

    • Kaeto

      March 2, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Until it happens to you. I remember a man asking me was it sweet, being molested as young as 8. I think people don’t understand the psychological effect of being sexually abused. Not having a voice, not owning your body, not having a choice, feeling unworthy, feeling like God’s punishing you and as a child, in the Nigerian society is bad because the women are blamed and danmed. Then labelled as sub humans. Sex on its own is horrible with the devil no passion, just imagine being forced. No woman is an object. My body, my choice, I don’t like you don’t touch me. We were all formed through sex, some people still value sex to be sacred..

    • Honest Question

      March 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Please, how did you tell your husband and when? In a similar position, I’m single now by choice because I shudder to think I will have to open up to a boyfriend or spouse about it. And can’t decide a what point in a relationship to trust someone with that information.
      Also, I often feel like if there was no penetration, am I making a big deal out of it? Should I just forget?

  2. brave

    March 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I was also raped .with penetration… It is the scariest thing.. Nd the most disgusting feeling. But truly with God all things are possible.. I am healing.. learning to love myself… I KNOW it was not my fault.
    Today I am healthy.. I am happier than ever.. The kinda joy that cnt be explained.. The type of joy tht comes from God .

    I refuse to be a victim.. I am a survivor .. God has seen me through it.. God kept me winning…i am so successful and people don’t understand why… but you see even tho the devil wanted to use one evil man to ruin my life… God still proved himself…

    Do you know where my rapist is now?.. suffering..begging.. living a lie. VERY Unhappy.. GOD ALWAYS VINDICATES THE INNOCENT..

    my prayer is that all those who are hurt and broken will find healing and joy.

  3. isaid!!

    March 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Amen, continue to be strong my dear sisters. please seek counseling and therapy if you can until you are both completely healed. The lord will continue to be your strength.. E-hugs

  4. oluwakemi

    March 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Watching the video bought tears to my eyes. I read the comments here . I have never been raped and i can t imagine cos the trauma to imagine is hard. We need fight against abuse.a lot of people have been abused and getting abused everyday. we need to be vigilant and sensitive to the environment. we should not be judgmental but pay attention to why that person behaves in that way? listening to people can change a SURVIVOR life.
    #SAYNOTOABUSE ;no matter the age.
    Shalom

  5. keke driver

    March 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    So much emotions and bravery…kudos Gaga, God Bless you #IAmASurvivor

  6. Survivor

    March 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Was molested by my step-father was i was little. I’m glad i have risen above it, i didn’t let it get the better part of me. I know i should have gone for counseling but where i buried that experience is somewhere i don’t want to dig up. I wish i had told someone then but i was too scared to speak up. I will always keep my children close so they can trust me enough to tell me about such. I don’t blame anyone for what happened to me, it has only made me stronger. I was able to open up to the love of my life and i’m glad i did. for anyone who has been abused, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! find someone you trust and talk to, it will not erase the past but it will surely make you feel better. We are SURVIVORS!

  7. frank

    March 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    GTFOH with your lying a $$. All these attention seeking hoes. Why wait till now to say something. Just like all those miserable bi! $#es waited over 20yrs to accuse Bill Cosby. GTFOH Idont believe you. I bet you want people to sympathetically go buy your next album cos of this.

    • Asgrl

      March 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Ladies and gentlemen…. Meet frank, the “soft rapist”. Naija boys who force sex on girls then beg after and say you’re their girlfriend so therefore it’s not rape.

    • Survivor

      March 2, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      it’s because of your type that people are ashamed to talk about their experience. whether she is lying or not let God be the judge of that. Anuofia!

    • Nuna

      March 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      How can someone be so stupid?? Jesus H Christ!

    • Taiwo

      March 2, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      A village is missing it’s idiot. The village idiot has been let loose on BN, please come get him.

    • person

      March 2, 2016 at 7:18 pm

      se o wa ok? u need panadol? or fansida? alabukun powder too is very potent. #orishirishinutcaseontheinternet

    • Deedee

      March 2, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      You know you aren’t well. Get help fast oni iranu

    • Jade

      March 2, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      I HATE evil men like Frank who are so insensitive to rape, pedophile and molesting. The fact that you think these women are lying means you think it’s ok for a man to touch, have sex with a woman without her consent. Most of the times, these men are very abusive. You think it’s ok for a man to do anything he wants. I can see you molesting a young girl, leaving deep pain and helplessness in her life. Today, I pray that God will destroy the lives of these men who hurt young girls and babies. God’s wrath will be on them and their generation.

    • Marie

      March 3, 2016 at 4:58 am

      You will hopefully NEVER HAVE A SON or Daughter If you do one day after many years he/she will confess to you that he/she was raped YOU will then believe . Trust me it will happen wait and see

  8. MeBeforeMe

    March 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    @Anon anon, Brave, Kaeto and everyone else who has experienced sexual and physical assault: I’m deeply sorry for your hurt and your pain. I pray and hope that you find healing, happiness, self-love, self-acceptance and understanding from your loved ones.

    My baby sister was consistently raped by her teacher in our childhood. I didn’t find out until we were teenagers. To this day, it pains me and shames me that I didn’t notice, that I couldn’t protect the one person I ought to have protected. Over the years, I’ve met other girls who went to our primary school, and who were abused by that same teacher. As far as I know, he was never prosecuted for his actions. Even worse, he owns and manages a school today.

    Parents, please be mindful of strangers, teachers, domestic staff, grandparents, cousins, sisters, brothers, parents. Yes, even parents. Keep an eye on your spouse. Trust no one until proven otherwise. Please let’s all be open with our children. Let’s talk to them, ask them how they are doing, ask them if anyone has ever touched them in an inappropriate way. Let’s tell them exactly what an ‘inappropriate way’ means. Call penis penis and call vagina vagina. Don’t use nicknames or vague terms; it’ll only confuse them. Teach them to guard their genitals. Don’t mystify sex so that if someone tries to molest them, they’ll immediately recognise that it’s wrong and confide in us.

    Above all, our generation must do better. I look forward to the day when we will stop shaming victims. Let’s teach our sons from an early age to see women as their equals. Let’s teach our sons not to rape or hit women. Let’s all say no to street harassment, please. A woman minding her own business and walking down a street is not any man’s property. She isn’t begging for any man’s degrading and disturbing attention. A woman’s body belongs to only one person – her. Nobody has any right to touch it without her permission.

    More power to you, Lady Gaga. Great performance.

  9. Gay

    March 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    The question is “who has not being sexually abused?”
    Almost every female has a story of molestation and abuse. I do too,
    Men what did we ever do to you?!
    Will it ever end? This is sad,.

    • Just AGuy

      March 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Trust me, we Men have been abused too. I was abused by my Male cousins who were about 15-16 then and I was about 8. These boys were experiencing puberty and didn’t have any female to turn to, so they abused me. They touched me and kissed me. Females just talk about it more, guys too get abused. Especially little boys. I still don’t tell anyone about this, but yea.

  10. duchess

    March 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    I was raped when I was 5yrs old in the barrack (air force base Ikeja) my mum use to drop me with him anytime she is going to the market, I still feel disgust inside of me, i was not courage to speak to my mum about it till date, the man who raped me is now an officer in the Nigerian Army, my mum say him about 4mnths ago and he requested for my contact since then he kept reminding me about it and also want us to feel each other in a mature way, now that am mature so that I can feel the sweetness of it. I just block his contact from my phone..

    • Nuna

      March 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      The thunder that will fire this officer is still doing press up.

  11. bruno

    March 2, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    lady gaga always making things all about herself.

    let me ask u gaga, why did u work with r.kelly a known child molested on ur song “do what u want”?

    by the way, I hope many of u women dont still have the mind set that men can’t be raped by women?

  12. Asgrl

    March 2, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I just want Nigerians and actually also non Nigerians to know that rape does not only happen in stereotypical Nollywood/Hollywood ways with a violent stranger ending with a scene in the shower with the victim crying on their knees.

    80% of rape is committed by an acquaintance, someone you know. I was sexually molested by my mother’s step brother and till today, when I go home I’m smiling on the outside and having panick attacks on the inside during family outings. My mother doesn’t know till today. My sister does and she found out as an adult because I wanted to know if she had the same experience.

    I mean this was my favorite uncle and for the longest time I just couldn’t reconcile my brain with what he did.

    • Asgrl

      March 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      I can’t believe I just posted this with my regular avatar ??

  13. i no send

    March 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    i was a victim of date rape in school and only one person knows .was also too ashamed and traumatised to open up …God will help me

  14. Duni

    March 2, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Was consistently raped by our househelp… and she was female – like me.

  15. zzzzzzzzzz

    March 2, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    The only thing I can say is that parents should mind who your their kids are with, we talk about rape how about harassment, especially in Lagos buses. Any time I enter a bus I always pray that a woman sits besides me. Most times I sit at the rear. Can not count the number of times men would pretend they are trying to get something and the next thing you know they have touched your boobs. Or is it those who sit behind you and press their legs on your bombom. I once sat near a man who had an erection all the way until I threatened to alight the bus before he shamefully got down. Or is is those that sit near you and would for not keep their hands to themselves, they must want to touch. If you argue the next thing you will hear is that you should have entered a taxi or bought your own car. Men why are you like this? The other day another guy sat next to me and pressed his legs on me and when I told to stop,he to asked me if I donot know that this is Lagos? I mean you can imagine how daft some people are. Men tell your folks to please respect themselves

  16. Toluwalope

    March 2, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I was raped when I was very young(though no penetration).it was horrible especially because it was a guy that was very close to my family.I had been molested by a neighbor even before then and I still think about it everyday.It hurts to know that I might not heal completely.I couldn’t tell anyone not even my parents because they are the TYPICAL African parents.I almost lost my way due to this bad experience,I almost started doing stupid things at a young age but I’m glad I found my way in the Lord.I have promised myself to be the best parents I can be to my future kids,so none of them would ever go through any of such.THERE ARE A LOT OF BaD PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD!

  17. Spunky

    March 2, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Phew! I’m a guy but I can relate to this experience. Between age of 5-8, I was abused severally by 4 different persons…two out of four being close relatives. It affected me in a negative way cos I turned out to be somewhat of a sex addict and always wanna try out kinky stuff. I have never told anyone about this. I am working hard on myself to turn my life around. I wish parents could encourage their kids to always confide in them irrespective of how ugly their experience may seem.

  18. eva

    March 2, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    @gay, I am with you. I don’t know what we ever did to men. I guess they enjoy terrorizing women.

  19. eva

    March 2, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    @honest. Question, you shouldn’t tell him.one day u would be shocked he would insult u with it. U shouldn’t trust any man. They are all just………….

  20. God's masterpiece

    March 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Reading through the comments just makes me shudder. So many abused women. May God heal our hearts. I was raped at 11, on Christmas eve, by a neighbor old enough to be my dad. Although I felt so ashamed of myself and worthless, I opened up to my parents. It was the worst Christmas ever as I spent it between the hospital and the police station. Writing an incident report about my rape was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever done till date. At the end of the day, the rapist was set free because people prevailed on my parents to withdraw the case, in order to avoid stigmatization. *sigh* The guy walked free and my adolescent and teenage years were ruined. 4 weeks later I got a positive pregnacy result; underwent treatment for an STD and my parents had to make the very difficult decision of aborting the pregnancy. It’s been 20 years since the ugly incident and I’m still standing.

  21. Osaretin

    March 3, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Oh wow! The stories here has brought me to tears. Hugs for you all!!!!

  22. Dr BAM

    March 3, 2016 at 12:59 am

    You are truly God’s masterpiece!!!! Keep smiling! Keep shining! God’s got your back

  23. Miss Mo

    March 3, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Wow so many victims and stories here made me cringe. And to think most can’t even talk about it.

    My advice is that you stay strong. Try to take your mind of it and get therapy if needed.

    God will heal and vindicate you all and I promise your perpetrators will see the wrath of God.

    Gosh I’m so furious right now. Too many sick people in this world especially those that victimize kids. I mean how could you????

  24. Chi!

    March 3, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    That’s why I don’t pity pple dat r suffering or going thru hell in life becos am sure, they’re all reaping what they’ve sown in dis life. so men n women keep doing evil to one anoda, u’ll surely pay for ur sins here on earth, not ur children, but U,u will personally reap what u’ve sown, God is alive n he’s not asleep, he’s watching us all.be piling up misery n agony for urselves.

  25. ccf

    March 7, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    This Frank is the missing serial pedophilic rapist o. Thunder and brimstone go fire you, anuofia mmuo.

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