HELLO AMERICA!—I was one of those who was totally overwhelmed by Lady Gaga performing her Academy Award nominated song, “Til It Happens to You” at the Oscar ceremony. The dynamic thrust of the lyrics became even more riveting when she was joined onstage by a group of survivors of sexual assault. The song co-written by her friend Diane Warren is highlighted in the college rape documentary, “The Hunting Ground.”

Several young women backstage were unable to contain themselves and broke down in tears. One very young actress rushed to embrace Lady Gaga saying, “You don’t know what you’ve done for me; I’ve been afraid to tell my mom what happened to me. My dad died and I didn’t want to put something like this on her, she had had so much to deal with and I didn’t want to add any more. Gaga, smiled, wiped the girl’s tears away, and whispered, “Listen sweet heart, no matter what it is, she’s your mom. Trust her, tell her.”

The girl gave Lady Gaga a big “thank you” and smile and rushed away. Lady Gaga admitted that it was easy to identify with the young girl because she too was fearful of disclosing what had happen to her own sexual abuse experience. She, too, was a survivor. “Like most young girls,” she noted. “I was too ashamed, scared to death and it took forever for me to admit to myself what had happened. After all, I’m Catholic and what had happened to me was evil but I rationalized it wasn’t my fault. Unfortunately, I believed it was my fault for ten years.”

When Gaga called her grandmother following the Oscars, they both broke down in tears. Her “granny” let her know how proud she was of her performance. Receiving the approval of what she did meant more than any and all awards she might receive. “After all, it was something that I had kept secret for a long time. I was ashamed! I have always needed the approval of the women in my life; it was and still is important for me to make them proud. I told the Sexual Assault Survivors back stage at the Oscar Performance Rehearsal that we’re gonna heal together!”

When appearing on The Howard Stern Show in 2014, she discussed her own experience dealing with sexual abuse. She composed a song called “Swine,” about rape, she disclosed on the radio show. “It’s about the rage, anger, passion, the pain I needed to release. I’ve gone through some miserable things, lot of physical and mental, emotional therapy to heal” she said. She added, “My music has been a life saver for me. Hey, it feels good to look in the mirror and simply smile and laugh.”

Lady Gaga admits that she has tried so hard to fit in, be like other performs and actors but suddenly realized that the reason she has a tremendous following and artistic, creative opportunities is “because” she is who she is. “I refuse to be someone other than who and what I was born to be. My name is LADY GAGA and I love the sound of it.”