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Jul 12

“Praying”: Why Kesha’s new single is something every survivor needs to hear

Whether you decided to not come forward about your assault, did come forward but not heard or lost your case, or even won your case, we can all agree that one of our biggest fears when processing our assaults is the sheer fear of rejection or not being believed. Being told you’re making it up, managing to get the strength to report it then watch it fall through the cracks, or even pushing it through to court but watching the man/woman who assaulted you go free, being pronounced not guilty in a loud echo through the courtroom. It’s a huge reason many of us don’t report it, and something hard to understand until you have been through a sexual assault.

This being said, I want to switch gears to October 2014 when artist Kesha Sebert, known just as Kesha, filed a lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke to “void all their contracts because of how, the suit claimed, Dr. Luke “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life.””. I’m sure most if not all of you have at least heard about this incredibly tragic story. At the time of this legal battle, I was still not aware of my assaults and didn’t feel the connection I do now to this case and its ruling. The saddest part? Kesha didn’t even want to take him to court criminally for the assaults because she knew his power in the industry and feared his threats and what he could do. All she wanted was to be free to write music and produce it freely and not under the man who repeatedly drugged her and had sexual contact with her without her consent. On February 19th, 2016, the world held their breath as we awaited the New York Supreme Court’s decision. Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled against her request for a preliminary injunction, which would release her from her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony Music Entertainment. This was a reminder for not only the victim in this situation, Kesha, but also the survivors that are still fighting day to day that making money and the image of Sony was more important than a human’s right to safety. In April of 2016, the judge further went to discourage her by dismissing all of Kesha’s abuse claims. I remember the picture that circulated of Kesha in court in February. The look of true heartbreak and fear washed over her face, it’s something I will never forget.

Fast forward to present day: Kesha releases her first single since the verdict. I’m sure many of you have heard it or at least know that she released the song. Titled “Praying”, Kesha stated that the song “is all about triumphing through adversity, and finding peace in forgiving those who have hurt you”. Kesha will also be releasing an album titled “Rainbow” under Dr. Luke’s former label Kemosabe (This is former due to the fact Dr. Luke was finally removed from Sony back in April). I remember the incredible warmth and nervousness I felt slowly turning in my chest when I saw the video appear in my YouTube feed. I fully knew that this song would pertain to her assault and her journey of healing, and my heart was ready to hear this raw, emotional tune. Before the song starts, Kesha speaks to the audience honestly of the suffering she has endured and questions God why she is still alive, pleading to let her die because “being alive hurts too much”. It’s honest; it is not dressed up with bows and ribbons and painted with glittery gold. Too often we are told to be positive and to keep moving forward. Which is true, we always have to keep fighting and never give in to the pain we may be enduring. However, far too often we don’t hear the dark side of recovery and assault, the way in which we feel at the depths of our own broken hearts and dreams. I remember crying while listening and truly relating to something so genuine and honest. The song then begins, her voice full of darkness slowly turns to hope and tells the story of how Dr. Luke made her feel, truly breaking her down to nothing without him. He “brought the flames and put (her) through hell” as quoted. But she grows in the song, not only in volume but in lyrical strength. She is proud of who she is because of the strength she has gained. She is not focused on ruining him as he was her. She is striving to grow and heal under her name, not his; “When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name”. This song is a portrait painted with bright colors of strength and pride. It’s something you can truly hear when listening to this song; not one individual can deny the raw emotion and honesty she put into this masterpiece, not one single person.

I am here writing this article because I believe this is a song that every survivor needs to hear again and again. We are told to stay silent and fight silently. Kesha’s legal shut down is all of our fears when fighting back against our assault. However, Kesha took all the deniers, all the lies from Dr. Luke, all the rejections from the law that was created to protect us, all the pain, suffering, fear, and trauma and refused to give up. She came back stronger than ever and put this song out there. She put her heart and soul onto a track and did not allow the world to silence her. This song is one of the single most important reminders in this day and age that no matter how hard you are shoved down and told “No”, no matter how many times you are denied justice and freedom, no matter how much pain you endure from your assault, you can prevail. You can win and that’s something we are told we can’t do. This song is something every sexual assault survivor needs to hear and to take in because it lets us know we are all survivors and winners; we can fight through hell and come back on the other side no matter what anyone says to us. Kesha, from the sexual assault survivors around the world, thank you for using your pain and suffering and creating something beautiful. Thank you for proving that even with the eye of the world staring at you, you can stare right back with strength and no fear of the consequences. Thank you, Kesha, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

-Katie-

 

Watch Kesha’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-Dur3uXXCQ&t=74s

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-Dur3uXXCQ&t=74s
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kesha_v._Dr._Luke
  3. http://www.businessinsider.com/keshas-praying-has-powerful-meaning-2017-7
  4. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/kesha-and-dr-luke-everything-you-need-to-know-to-understand-the-case-20160222

 

About the author

Katie

I am a survivor of two accounts of sexual assault that I only recently discovered were assaults, and coming to terms with this has been the rockiest road I’ve walked. I have let my assaults conquer me and take me down like a house of cards, unfortunately I refuse to be blown over anymore.
I joined this team to use my voice and experiences to help others start their journey to recovery and happiness. Neither of my assaults were easy to identify and are ones we are not always educated on, so I understand from personal experience how hard it can be to start the process to recovery, especially when you don’t see the beginning of the path. I want to be that path marker, let me help you start!
Never allow yourself to be silenced, your voice will always be yours and cannot be taken away from you. I love all of you. <3

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/praying-why-keshas-new-single-is-something-every-survivor-needs-to-hear/