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One sexual assault can affect a whole family for years. Just ask Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga explained how a sexual assault may not have just one victim.

One sexual assault can affect a whole family for years. Just ask Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga took the stage at the Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 23, 2016, to perform a song close to her heart.

The singer performed "Til It Happens to You" — a powerful ballad that describes the ensuing heartache that haunts a survivor of campus sexual assault. It's an especially personal tune for Gaga as she's a survivor herself.


Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA.

Gaga used the spotlight on Saturday to share how one person's experience of sexual assault can alter the emotional health of an entire family.

"It's not only an important issue to me, but it's an important issue to my family," Gaga said from behind a piano on stage. She explained that her aunt was sexually assaulted when in college years ago, and the experience "tormented her so emotionally," it contributed to a decline in her physical health.

"My father was 16," Gaga explained of the timing of her aunt's death. "And it affected my family tremendously my whole life."

"Til It Happens to You" isn't just a powerful song. It's raising awareness and increasing visibility on the issue of sexual assault on campuses.

The song, which aims to help give survivors a voice, was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary "The Hunting Ground," which explores the overlooked crisis of sexual assault on college campuses.


"The statistics are staggering," the documentary's website explains, alluding to findings backed up by a recent study from the Association of American Universities. "One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators."

Creating the Oscar-nominated song hasn't been the most carefree musical endeavor for Gaga. But that's never been the point.

Gaga, who's opened up in recent years about being sexually assaulted as a teenager, told the Los Angeles Times in December 2015 that listening to such a heart-wrenchingly personal song has been difficult. But finding courage with the support of loved ones is what the tune's all about — facing trauma head-on in order to heal.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA.

"It was really hard for me when [the song] came out. I was really stressed out about it. Every time I listen to it, I cry," she said. "Every time I get a text about it, I always feel sick. It's like this thing you don't want to face. But because [songwriter Diane Warren] wanted to face it with me, it reminded me of what the song is for."

Watch the powerful music video for "Till It Happens to You" below (WARNING: The video contains graphic content that may be upsetting to some viewers):

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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In the hours before he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, then-President-elect Biden was sent a letter signed by 17 freshmen GOP members of the House of Representatives.

In sharp contrast to the 121 Republican House members who voted against the certification of Biden's electoral votes—a constitutional procedure merely check-marking the state certifications that had already taken place—this letter expresses a desire to "rise above the partisan fray" and work together with Biden as he takes over the presidency.

The letter reads:

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on the beginning of your administration and presidency. As members of this freshman class, we trust that the next four years will present your administration and the 117thCongress with numerous challenges and successes, and we are hopeful that – despite our ideological differences – we may work together on behalf of the American people we are each so fortunate to serve.

After two impeachments, lengthy inter-branch investigations, and, most recently, the horrific attack on our nation's capital, it is clear that the partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans does not serve a single American.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.