Women’s March: A Huge Step Towards Freedom

WARNING: This article discusses sensitive topics including assault and rape. If you or someone you know needs help please feel free to contact 800.656.HOPE (4673) and you'll be routed to a local sexual assault service provider in your area.

Over the past weekend, a women’s march took place in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of people came together for one worthy cause. The march stretched more than 20 blocks from the main stage near Columbus Circle and spilled over to parallel streets. It is estimated that more than 120,000 people participated. Scarlett Johansson, Viola Davis, Halsey and other prominent artists, Hollywood actresses and industry veterans delivered powerful speeches at women's marches throughout the country on Saturday. These events are extremely potent in the wake of a months-long unearthing of sexual misconduct within Hollywood. 

Photo of singer/songwriter Halsey in New York. Photo by: :ERIK PENDZICH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

In particular, the singer/songwriter Halsey put her experiences of sexual assault into a poem, which she performed at the march. Her poem was titled “A Story Like Mine” and gave accounts of a friend’s rape and the singer’s own experiences of childhood abuse, being pressured into a sexual relationship by her boyfriend and having to perform on stage while miscarrying, while she states her fame has in no way protected her from assault. View Haley’s spine-chilling speech here

The singer recalls a recent incident in which she was undergoing a miscarriage while on stage. She speaks out, “Until a man that I trust gets his hands in my pants but I don’t want none of that, I just wanted to dance,” she said. “And I wake up the next morning like I’m in a trance and there’s blood. Is that my blood? You see, I’ve worked every day since I was 18. I’ve toured everywhere from Japan to Mar-a-Lago,” she continued. “I even went on stage that night in Chicago when I was having a miscarriage. I mean, I pied the piper, I put on a diaper and sang out my spleen to a room full of teens.” Just reading the words has one in shock, the impact of her speech was no less.

 

Photo of singer Halsey (2016). Photo by: By Jake Michaels for The New York Times

Halsey previously opened up about the miscarriage to Rolling Stone in an interview in 2016. Halsey told the publication she discovered she was having a miscarriage hours before her performance at the 2015 VEVO Lift Live event in Chicago. She said she screamed in shock when she found herself bleeding from the waist down in her hotel bed. Her first thought, she said at the time, was “‘I have to cancel the show.” In the end, Halsey asked her assistant to buy adult diapers from a drugstore. While no one forced the singer to go onstage, she said she put on a diaper and took two Percocets to perform.

The poem's straightforward nature and its call to recognize the similar struggles of all women struck a chord with fellow celebrities and fans alike.

Halsey responded on Twitter shortly after her speech stating, “I’m truly humbled and overwhelmed by the support I’ve gotten in the past day. I’m comforted and saddened by all who can relate. We are in this together,” which we are. Take in the lessons being taught by these amazingly strong women and help those who are unable to help themselves. 

Photo: rainn.org

If you or anyone that you know has or is experiencing any form of harassment do not be scared to call 800.656.HOPE (4673). When you call, you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cellphone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider. For more information visit: RAINN