It takes a lot of courage for a woman to open up about her rape experience, and the reason many women tell no one but God about the trauma is because society victimises the victim, does almost nothing to bring the rapist to book. And so, a woman lives with the nightmare, plus she is stigmatised by the society she had run to for help.
For Lady Gaga, she kept her secret for many years and was only able to speak about it for the first time last year, after she had become a successful singer, and yesterday, in a panel discussion with Times Talk, she relived the memory and revealed how it changed the course of her life.
“I didn’t tell anyone for I think seven years. I didn’t know how to think about it,” Lady Gaga said. “I didn’t know how to accept it. I didn’t know how to not blame myself or think it was my fault. It’s something that really changed my life. It changed who I was completely. It changed my body, it changed my thoughts.”
On how it changed her body, she said, “When you go through a trauma like that, it doesn’t just have the immediate physical ramifications. For many people it has almost like trauma, where you re-experience it through the years after it. It can trigger patterns in your body of physical distress. So a lot of people suffer not just emotional and mental pain, but physical pain as a result of being abused, raped or traumatized in some way.”
When she first talked about it last year, she told Howard Stern on his radio show how she struggles not to be defined by it.
“I don’t want to be defined by it. I’ll be damned if somebody’s gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one d—head that did that to me,” she said on the radio show last December. “I’m gonna take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful and all the things I’ve made out of my strife. I did that.”
The 29-year-old singer who was honoured as Billboard Woman of the Year in 2015, recorded a song ‘Til It Happens to You’ about her experience and it is included in a documentary on campus rape, The Hunting Ground.