Opinion: Honoring Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Songs for Survivors

April is sexual assault awareness month. Sexual assault awareness is represented with the color teal. On college campuses, there’s an increase in occurrences of sexual assaults and they are hardly reported (Illustration by Erin Lathrop).

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In honor of it being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this playlist is intended to help survivors cope with the struggles that they are facing.

During their college years, one in four women are sexually assaulted with most attackers being someone the victim knows. 

On college campuses, sexual assault is heavily under-reported due to many reasons, including fear. An estimated five percent of sexual assault on campuses are reported  Victims fear that no one will believe them. They fear what their attacker might do to them. They fear many other potential situations. About one in six survivors actually seek help after being assaulted.

The intention of this playlist is to reach out to those who weren’t able to report and send a little bit of comfort and support their way.  

“I Believe You” By FLETCHER

In “I Believe You,” FLETCHER becomes a reassuring voice to let listeners know that someone out there believes them, ensuring that they have at least one person who believes their story.

With the release of this song FLETCHER put out a letter addressing the #MeToo movement and addressing the intentions of her song “I Believe You.” 

The song literally says “me too” multiple times, making it relatable to listeners and making them feel like they aren’t alone in their feelings.

Hoping to let survivors know that someone does believe and letting others know that’s the thing a survivor wants to hear, that someone believes them.

With the proceeds of this song, FLETCHER will be donating to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.

“Praying” By Kesha

In “Praying,” Kesha references her own sexual assault that was very publicized with, Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald,  Dr. Luke. 

The lawsuit that proceeded from the assault took Kesha out of music for a couple years, but when she returned, she came back with a style that was more her own. 

In “Praying,” Kesha breaks her silence. She puts a message out to the world that although she went through some extremely dark times, she came back stronger. She tells audiences that she’s proud of who she is and Dr. Luke is going to get what he deserves. 

“Warrior” by Demi Lovato

Warrior” is about coming back better than ever from one’s lowest point. The song includes messages about becoming stronger from one’s pain in order to make sure that the past doesn’t define the future. 

Lovato sings, “there’s a part of me I can’t get back,” which is a line that many survivors, in particular, can connect to.

She expresses her anger towards her attacker, telling him not to apologize because he’s nothing more than a liar. 

Lovato leaves the listener with the line, “you can’t hurt me again,” a message survivors sometimes need to hear.

Fans have connected this song to Lovato being open about her father being abusive while she was growing up. Lovato even claims that her dad, who struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism, attributed to her dad as part of the reason for her pattern of drug addiction., as he was a drug addict and alcoholic. That aspect makes this song also relatable for to people in other situations, such as those struggling with abuse and addiction.

“Til it Happens to You” by Lady Gaga

Til it Happens to You” is a song where Lady Gaga references her own experience with sexual assault, which occurred when she was only 19. She addresses her experience with PTSD and her feelings while dealing with the trauma. 

The music video for the song also depicts what happens on college campuses all over the nation, pin-pointing that these sexual assaults, in particular, are so heavily under-reported. The video details many different scenarios for sexual assault seen on college campuses.

The message from this song is mostly intended for the people who make up a survivor’s support system. The song lets members of this support system know that they won’t fully understand what a survivor is feeling and going through unless they have been through it. This is most clearly expressed in the line, “til it happens to you, you don’t know how I feel.”

“Man Down” by Rhianna

Man Down” is widely known to be one of Rhianna’s many songs about her very publicized relationship with her abusive ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.

In this song, she fantasizes about taking down her abuser with the pull of a trigger. 

The lyrics alone don’t completely connect to survivors, but the music video reveals the intention of connection with survivors. The music video follows Rhianna as she’s at a party and a man that won’t take no for an answer follows her out of the party. After the assault, Rhianna runs home to grab her gun and the last scene is her outside a door with her gun. Survivors can relate the lyrics to their own fantasies and experiences.

“You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me” by Cher

You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me” is an empowering song about staying strong when nothing seems to be going right. The lyrics explain that the listener can bounce back from whatever life throws at them, and that no matter what pain they’re going through, no one can stop them from accomplishing whatever their goals. 

I’m down now, but I’ll be standing tall again,” is a line that resonates with listeners, telling them that they still have something in life even when it doesn’t feel like it. 

Ending the piece with the line “you haven’t seen the last of me,” repeated emphasized her message about coming back stronger and not being taken down. 

Takeaway

Everyone deals with trauma in their own way. Everyone has a different way of coping with their challenges in life. Everyone has a different way of going about getting themselves back in order. Not everyone needs the same type of support since each person has their own route to getting past trauma, but everyone needs support in some way, shape or form. 

This playlist was meant to give survivors several different ways to cope with their trauma. 

Resources

If you or anyone you know is struggling please reach out:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800) 273-8255 (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
  • Mental Health Association in Michigan: (248) 647-1711
  • Summit Point – 24 Hour Crisis: 1(800) 632-5449
  • Summit Point Youth Mobile Crisis Team: (269) 441-5945
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 74174
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1(800)656-4773
  • National Domestic Abuse Hotline1(800)799-7233
About Erin Lathrop 20 Articles
Erin is a sophomore from Saline, MI. She is on the Track, Cross Country, and Dive team. Erin is at Albion College studying to become a nurse. She is, also, the movie trolls number one fan.

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