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Lady Gaga publishes essay on sexual assault with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

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Lady Gaga co-wrote an op-ed with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo about the importance of battling sexual assault on college campuses—and how a bill Cuomo introduced back in February could help make college students safer.

“The likelihood that college students are not getting the assistance and support they deserve is heartbreaking, and the knowledge that sexual predators are left free to attack again is criminal,” Gaga and Cuomo wrote in the essay, which was posted on Billboard’s website Monday. “This bill will tackle this crisis head-on, because the status quo needs to change.”

The bill they’re referring to is one that would “ensure that all college students in [New York], more than 1 million in total, are protected with comprehensive and uniform procedures and guidelines,” according to the governor’s website. Those procedures and guidelines include a clear definition of consent, an amnesty policy that protects students reporting sexual assault if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, and training for staff and students. 

“By passing legislation such as the bill currently before the New York State legislature, we can turn the tide on this issue so that students can realize their dreams on campuses that are safe spaces,” the two wrote. “That’s why we are joining together to take a stand against sexual assault on college campuses. Quite simply, enough is enough.”

Last year, Gaga spoke about her experiences with sexual assault on Howard Stern’s radio show while talking about her song, “Swine.”  “I went through some horrific things that I’m able to laugh now because I’ve gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy, and emotional therapy, to heal over the years,” she told Stern. “I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself.” She has since become vocal on the issue, and recorded “Till It Happens To You” for the documentary The Hunting Ground, which chronicles sexual assault on college campuses.

New York lawmakers have until June 17 to decide on the bill. Read more about it on Cuomo’s website, and read Gaga and Cuomo’s full essay at Billboard.com.