When sexual assault survivors joined Lady Gaga on stage during her Oscars performance of "Till It Happens To You," it especially resonated with Jaime King. The 36-year-old actress and model was so moved by the performance that she decided to finally reveal her own personal experience with abuse on social media.
King thanked Lady Gaga, as well as family and supportive organizations like the United Nations in a lengthy Instagram post about her sexual abuse as a child in show business.
"It's a night of celebration, of change, of not being ashamed of your race, creed color, situation, circumstances and environment, or past," she wrote on Instagram. "Now I am free, somewhat. Thank you for the switch that went off inside finally when I realized my silence said I cannot help nor change and that is not who I am. I love you all very much for creating a safe space. The time is now. I was about 14 here, it started at 12. Peace Be Still."
Lady Gaga's Oscar-nominated song was featured in the documentary film The Hunting Game, which shed light on sexual assault on college campuses. Nearly one in four female college students today report experiencing sexual assault.
Some of the best ways to support sexual assault survivors, according to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, include the creation of local safe spaces, support groups and rape crisis centers.
But another powerful way to help survivors come forward (an important first step) is to have other survivors speak out about their experiences.
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