Sexual assault and domestic violence aren’t easy to talk about.
So how can we get folks talking about these issues to drive more awareness and break down the barriers of stigma, silence and shame that keep people from seeking help and taking action before problems arise?
A number of NO MORE supporters have come up with same solution: instead of talking about sexual assault and domestic violence, sing about it.
Music is a unique medium that allows both artists and listeners to connect with difficult topics, like sexual assault and domestic violence, in very personal ways, and many people have written to us to share particular songs that have helped and inspired them.
NO MORE is proud to partner with the heavy metal supergroup HELLYEAH, which released its single “Hush” during NO MORE Week. Frontman Chad Grey wrote “Hush” about his experience growing up in a home with domestic violence, and the chilling song reminds listeners that they “are not alone.”
During the 2015 South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, organizers of the Spontaneous Speakeasy combined the power of music and NO MORE’s message to raise funds for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Safe Place. The daylong “Party With a Purpose” featured sets from seven artists, including JJ Essen, whose song “The Door” tells the story of his reaction and rage when hearing about a family member’s struggle with domestic violence.
Philip Nelson, an organizer of the event along with Curse Mackey, also performed his song “Up High” inspired by a friend’s words as she reached out for help in the wake of an abusive marriage. To Nelson, writing songs about these issues seems natural. “Music evokes emotion” he says. “Because Domestic Violence and sexual assault are such personal issues, it only makes sense that music would be an important way for these stories to be told and shared.”
Katy Perry’s moving rendition of “By the Grace of God” at the 2015 Grammy’s, following a recorded call to action by President Obama and a powerful poem by survivor and activist Brooke Axtell, demonstrated the emerging importance of music in raising awareness around domestic violence and sexual assault.
Hearing your story in a song is a powerful way to remind those who have been isolated physically and emotionally that there are people out there who can relate to and care about them.
This Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we are excited to share some of the moving and downright catchy songs that people have shared with NO MORE. (Warning: Some of the lyrics in the songs and videos may be triggering to survivors.)
“Silenced” by Mersi Stone
Family music duo and NO MORE Ambassadors Kelsi and Kori Jean Olsen are on a mission to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault.
“Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga
“The Door” by JJ Essen
“Hush” by HELLYEAH
“No More” by Middle Class Rut
“Leaving You Behind” by Emii
“Tears in Your Eyes Remix” by ASHES the Chosen
“No More” by Denise Latray
“Who Will Cry (For the Little Girl)?” by Schawayna Raie
“Stop Violence Against Women–Now!” by Cardell Anthony
“Lies and Bruises” by Ryan Daniel
“No More” by Deshai Williams
These are just a few of the many artists nationwide speaking out about these important issues and lending their voices to say #NOMORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. What are we missing on this list? We want to hear the songs that move you! Please share your favorites on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #NOMORE, and we will add them to our Music That Moves Us YouTube Playlist.
For dating abuse help and resources, visit loveisrespect.org, call 1-866-331-9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.