What Happened When Kesha Reported Her Sexual Assault

September 21st 2015

"Tik Tok" singer Kesha sued record producer Dr. Luke over alleged abuse and sexual assault last year, and in a new statement from her lawyers, they claim that coming forward about these allegations have since severely damaged the young woman's career. Many sexual assaults go unreported because women fear negative consequences if they speak up, making the performer's professional losses for doing just that all the more devastating.

"Until this Court rules on the declaratory judgment claim, Kesha is at an impasse," her lawyers wrote in a memorandum. "She cannot work with music producers, publishers, or record labels to release new music. With no new music to perform, Kesha cannot tour. Off the radio and stage and out of the spotlight, Kesha cannot sell merchandise, receive sponsorships, or get media attention. Her brand value has fallen, and unless the Court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return."

Her lawyers included an affidavit from ex-Universal CEO Jim Urie, who claims the music industry has decided to blacklist Kesha as a result of the lawsuit:

"No mainstream distribution company will invest the money necessary to distribute songs for an artist who has fallen from the public eye... If Kesha cannot immediately resume recording and having her music promoted, marketed, and distributed by a major label, her career is effectively over."

Several months before pressing charges against Dr. Luke, Kesha entered Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center to treat an eating disorder. At the time, she blamed Dr. Luke for her eating disorder because he called her mean names about her weight.

RELATED: Lady Gaga Shows the Brutal Impact of Sexual Assault in a New PSA

Why many victims don't come forward about being sexually assaulted

The lawsuit's impact on Kesha's career is alarming because it exposes the unfortunate professional consequences of reporting sexual assault (and this does not cover the psychological damage this has caused her). As earlier stated, many sexual assaults are not reported. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that nearly 70 percent of incidents are not reported.

Last week, women's rights group Ultraviolet released a powerful video titled "The cost of rape." The video not only reveals an estimated $151,423 fiscal cost of dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault, but also shows the immense emotional costs of such trauma. The clip acknowledges that this is expensive but also shows just how traumatizing sexual assault can be for many women. The video depicts an animation of a female victim as she endures the unbearable aftereffects of her sexual assault. The background shifts, but this woman remains in place as she's met with a slew of hypothetical situations, statements, and questions that could occur following her sexual assault: "Were you drinking?" "It's too soon to know if you're pregnant, and if you are pregnant, well, the options are limited." "I'm not sure we have enough evidence to press charges."

RELATED: This Powerful Video Shows The Real Cost Of Sexual Assault

As ATTN: previously noted, women may choose not to report their rape for the very reasons described in the video: the difficulty of prosecuting rape, along with the emotional trauma of having to discuss the subject with college students administrators, therapists, doctors, and future partners. Even so, this does not mean women should have to stay silent about their sexual assault. In fact, there is a push to change that. 

"It's On Us"

Kesha's statement comes a few weeks after the White House released a star-studded anti-sexual assault video called "It's On Us: One Thing." The "one thing" all the celebrities in the clip are talking about is consensual sex.

The clip is part of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's "It's On Us" movement that is intended to combat sexual assault on college campuses. As noted in the Ultraviolet clip, one in five undergraduate women experience an attempted or completed sexual assault in college, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Justice study.

While many are aware of the one in five statistic, many college campuses do not believe the problem of sexual assaults affects their institutions. Earlier this year, Inside Higher Ed released its fifth annual Survey of College and University Presidents, which reported that one third of college presidents understand that campus sexual assault is prevalent in the American college system. Only 6 percent of the surveyed college presidents, however, think sexual assault is prevalent on their own campuses.

RELATED: Zoe Saldana, Josh Hutcherson, and Other Celebs Just Made a Powerful Statement About Sexual Assault

For more information on the problem of sexual assault, watch this ATTN: video.


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