Lady Gaga's powerful new video shows the reality of campus sexual assault.

Lady Gaga's career has been defined by memorable music videos. Her latest one is no exception.

But Gaga's new video isn't the flashy, avant-garde performance art she's usually known for. The video for her latest single, "Till It Happens to You" is the theme song for the documentary "The Hunting Ground," which focuses on the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and the school administrators who fail to help survivors and/or try to cover it up. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the documentary and make a few brief appearances in it.)



1 in 5 women — and 5% of men — are sexually assaulted during their college careers. Lady Gaga's new video aims to change that.

All images via "Till It Happens to You," LadyGagaVEVO.

"Till It Happens to You" is a powerful message for survivors and non-survivors alike.

In the video, Gaga captures how sexual assault can happen in different ways and that what we think of when we think of sexual assault or rape doesn't quite reflect reality.

The media often portrays sexual assault or rape as something committed by an obviously evil-looking villain who drugs his victims. But in reality, 82% of sexual assaults and 47% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts.

And it's a big deal that a major pop star is using her platform to call attention to the fact that sexual assaults don't just happen in darkly-lit back alleys late at night or at alcohol fueled parties.


The video shows that it doesn't matter how assault happens. All survivors need the same thing: support.

All of the survivors in the video struggle with the aftermath of their assaults. To show the impact of the emotional trauma of assault, their thoughts and feelings are written in marker on different body parts.

But when they end up finding comfort in their friends, they transform. They go from shame and self-loathing...


...to hope and self-love.

Of course, Gaga is right, support is crucial — but it's important to note that everyone handles trauma differently. Just because your friend might not seem to be crying or scared, they still might just need a friend to come and hang out to provide a judgement-free space.

When a friend goes through a traumatic experience, it can be hard to understand what they're feeling. But what you can do is listen.

Showing support for a friend can mean everything from simply telling them "I'm here for you" to actually driving them to the therapist's office (at their request).

The song's chorus talks about how the trauma of rape or sexual assault is something that cannot be truly understood unless you go through it yourself:

Till It happens to you, you don't know how it feels, how it feels
Till it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real
No, it won't be real, won't know how it feels

But even if you haven't personally experienced it, you can still be there for your friend by believing them and their story. It might seem small, but even something as simple as saying "I believe you" can make a huge difference.

In the video, it's the love and support from their friends that gives the survivors the strength to speak up.

It is common for victims to stay silent. In fact, 95.2% of campus rape victims never report. But the tide is beginning to change, thanks to survivors (like Gaga herself) who are speaking up.

Many survivors have created groups like Carry That Weight and Know Your IX to take action urging schools and the government to stand up and help create safer campuses.

They're sharing their stories. And now it's time for college campuses and the government to listen to what they're saying.

The best way to combat sexual assault is to believe survivors. To stand beside them when they share their stories. To make sure their voices are heard.

Sexual assault isn't just a women's issue. Or a survivor's issue. It's an issue for all of us. And we have to fight it together.

Watch the entire music video below:

(Trigger warning for depictions of sexual assault.)

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
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Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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