Social media has been ablaze with support today for singer/songwriter Kesha who, after allegedly enduring years of sexual assault from her producer, has decided to press charges, but unfortunately the artist is suffering even more. While her legal team fights for her to escape from her contract with Dr. Luke, the producer who has allegedly raped and abused her, Kesha is legally forbidden from furthering her musical career pending an injunction.
While we’ve talked a lot before about Intimate Partner Rape, another huge issue that occurs regularly in our society is Acquaintance Rape, including sexual assault in the workforce. Raising awareness for these issues and educating those treating and investigating cases like Kesha’s is why we publish books like our Sexual Assault Desk Reference.
The common tropes of domestic violence often apply in abusive work, school, or military related situations as well. The perceived superior is able to get away with treating the victim much like an abuser would treat his or her partner. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse all complicate the otherwise simple concept of ending a relationship. When there are contracts or military commitmenst involved, it can be even harder for the abused party to cut ties. Victims of abuse often feel silenced by their abusers, and in Kesha’s case we can see that process. By removing her artistic outlet in front of the whole world, this case is demonstrating what so many victims face every day, and the Twitterverse has been deeply touched by bearing witness to the silencing of Kesha.
The issue that Kesha faces is heartbreaking and it is much bigger than her. Her courage in sharing this struggle will help thousands of others feel less alone in similar situations. Kesha’s situation demonstrates the way that sexual assault and domestic violence can have lasting traumatic effects, not only psychologically, but socially.
While of course sexual assault allegations must be investigated legally, it is crucial that society begins placing more value on the words of the victim. More victims of violence would come forward if the threat of losing their families, friends, careers, and livelihood was not active on top of the threat of ramifications from the abuser.