Updated: Jul 8, 2022
For a few years, back in the day, I volunteered for a Rape Crisis Center in a big city. After training, I served as a hospital advocate -- which means I was the person who hopefully helped someone who had been sexually assaulted through the first hours after their attack. There was never a "good" experience. We never did a "good" job. The only measure of success was did we get the victim through it with as little further damage as possible. No amount of kindness or understanding made it hurt less. No amount of trying made it "go away."
When Lady Gaga and Diane Warren wrote this song, I was mesmerized by it. The pain in her voice overrides the images and even the words. It took me back to the molested children I saw. They never "asked" for it as was a common defense at the time. I remembered women in their 80s and 90s who’d been tortured in their beds or assaulted in their driveways. They never "asked" for it either. Nor did the cop who was beaten half to death before he was raped...ask for it. Nor did the teenagers or the mentally retarded or people on blind dates or those who were just quietly waiting for a bus...ask for it.
And even after seeing all this trauma, there's still no way I truly know how it feels. Cruelty, horror, betrayal, stalking, tortu—whether it be by a stranger, a friend, a relative or fellow worker—is personal. And advice like "You'll feel better tomorrow" or "As long as no one knows, you'll be okay" does nothing to help. I can feel bad for someone going through such trauma, but honestly, why should they give a damn if I do?
They travel their roads alone.
From Wikipedia: "Til It Happens to You" was written by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga, and recorded by the latter for The Hunting Ground (2015), a documentary film about campus rape in the United States. Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering wanted someone with "major" influence to record a song for the film, believing it would generate publicity and promote the subject. They contacted executive producer Paul Blavin, explaining their idea and added that they did not have the resources to find someone. Blavin started searching and met with music supervisor Bonnie Greenberg, who introduced him to Warren. Warren was moved by the idea saying: "I cannot not write a song for you. And not only can I not not write a song for this movie, I'm going to gift it to you."