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Hollywood stands up for survivors of sexual assault

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Hollywood stands up for survivors of sexual assault

Messages of hope and empowerment for survivors fill the 2016 Oscars

By Fransi Weinstein

 

Sexual abuse is officially out of the closet. And if ever there was a time that survivors everywhere should be united in strength and stand proud and tall it’s right now. The 2016 Oscars made damn sure of that.

 

Brie Larson won Best Actress for “Room”, a film about a woman who tries to make a life for herself and her son inside a shed belonging to their kidnapper (and rapist). “Spotlight,” a true story of the Boston Globe journalists who investigated sexual abuse within the catholic church won Best Picture.

 

But the most moving, goose bump causing moment of the night was brought by Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga: The Vice President has been a champion of our cause for years, with his “It’s On Us” campaign; and last night, just before introducing Lady Gaga, he asked everyone in the audience, and the billion or so viewers around the world, to “take the pledge” and intervene when consent hasn’t been given, to “change the culture” that allows rape to happen.

 

joe biden

 

Then Lady Gaga, herself a victim of rape, performed the powerful song —“Til it Happens to You”— she wrote for “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses. But it was her finale, where the stage was suddenly filled with a group of sexual abuse survivors, that drove the audience to its feet, cheering, applauding and shedding more than a few tears.

 

We must keep the momentum going. We must never be silenced again. We must make sure our message continues to be heard, until the day we no longer have to have this conversation. The day that will come.

 

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