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Category: News

February 4, 2017

This Sunday, Super Bowl LI takes place in Houston, Texas. While many will be tuning in to watch the Patriots battle the Falcons for the Lombardi trophy, many others will be watching for the commercials and halftime entertainment. This year, Lady Gaga will be taking center stage during the halftime show – a highly anticipated performance as she has been planning her halftime performance since she was four years old! [1] The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) will be watching to see if she will include raising awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault during her show.

In recent years, the NFL has publicly called for greater attention to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. While they have aired PSAs and instituted a new domestic violence and sexual assault policy, many are calling for the NFL to take a stronger stance and do more. NNEDV hopes that the NFL’s selection of Lady Gaga for the halftime show, amongst her staunch advocacy on behalf of survivors of violence, illustrates the NFL’s interest in deeper change and accountability.

After disclosing that she is a survivor of sexual assault, Lady Gaga has been an avid advocate for survivors everywhere. Her Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens To You,” was featured in the documentary, “The Hunting Ground,” both of which focus on sexual assault, and center the importance and necessity of supporting survivors. In December 2016, Lady Gaga powerfully and unashamedly announced to a group of LGBTQ youth that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While Lady Gaga’s talent and platform are unique, unfortunately her experiences are not. One study showed that within a sample of domestic violence victims, the prevalence of PTSD ranged from 45 to 84 percent. [2] Survivors who have been victimized through multiple experiences, such as child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence are also more likely to develop PTSD. [3] Aside from the harmful effects of experiencing PTSD, survivors who experience PTSD are at higher risk of developing depression than those who do not. [3]

Lady Gaga has shared that she’ll make statements about her “passion for inclusion, the spirit of equality, and the spirit of this country - one of love and compassion and kindness,” during the halftime show. [1] NNEDV shares her passion for equality. We believe this can be achieved by holding abusers accountable and by lifting up survivors’ experiences, which include many facets and intersections, such as mental health.

Join us in raising awareness this Sunday and beyond:

  • Tweet during the Super Bowl. RT this tweet or share your own message of solidarity with survivors and Lady Gaga using the #SuperBowl hashtag.
  • Speak out. Shift the culture and challenge widely-held perceptions about domestic violence. Use our 10 Tips to Have an Informed Conversation about Domestic Violence to prepare for conversations like these with your friends and family.
  • Look Good, Doing Good. Check out NNEDV’s online store and use our merchandise as a way to spark conversations about equality, respect, and nonviolence. All proceeds from the NNEDV store go towards ending domestic violence – so #shopNNEDV now!
  • Be a voice for survivors. Become a sustaining donor to NNEDV. Sign up now and give a recurring contribution of any amount. Sustainers help ensure that our work to end violence remains on the national agenda.
  • Get Involved. Check out all the ways you and your community can take a stand against violence at NNEDV.org/GetInvolved.

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[1] http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2017/02/02/complete-guide-lady-gaga-super-bowl-halftime-show/97358396/ 

[2] https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/44912/10896_2004_Article_298363.pdf?sequence=1

[3] Women, Domestic Violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, 2000, Jan, Margaret J. Hughes and Loring Jones, San Diego State University