Why A Cappella Groups Across the Country Are Singing for Rape Survivors

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 5.13.38 PMOn the heels of Lady Gaga’s stirring performance of “Til It Happens To You” at this year’s Academy Awards, the filmmakers behind The Hunting Groundfor which the song was written, are calling on college-student singers nationwide to help raise awareness about the country’s campus rape crisis.

Til It Happens To You: Sing For Survivors Contest invites college a cappella groups to submit a rendition of the Oscar-nominated tune in a show of solidarity with rape survivors everywhere. “This song has become an anthem to support survivors and to end the culture of silence and shame around sexual assault,” according to the contest website. The contest was created in partnership with the White House’s It’s On Us campaign.

The response so far has been extraordinary, with submissions from groups in California, IllinoisKentucky and Minnesota hitting all the right notes. Among the most notable is the moving entry from Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ all-female a cappella ensemble, Three Miles Lost. Filmed by student Bree von Bradsky, the group rallied representatives from all corners of campus—including HWS athletics, the dean’s office and two fraternities—to appear in the music video, holding signs reading, “1 in 5 of us knows how it feels” and “We Stand in Solidarity.” Watch the video below—it’s a soul-shaking tribute to survivors of campus rape.

Want to sing your support for campus sexual assault survivors? Join the movement and submit your cover of “Til It Happens To You” by March 15 here!

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Lindsay_Kitty_HS1Kitty Lindsay is a Ms. blogger and works at the Feminist majority Foundation. Follow her on Twitter!


  1. I am a William Smith Alumna (’08), and while I am proud of our students – the campus and the administration have been woefully terrible at sexual assault prevention and supporting students who have been victims of assault. The Colleges are under currently under investigation from Title IX due to these shameful inadequacies When I was a student, after a serial rapist (that turned out to not be a student) – attacked several students on campus, the School’s response was to give us whistles, and cut down bushes. When a classmate was assaulted – they sent her home for the semester. Another classmate, after assaulting at least 5 young women was convicted of 2 of 9 counts of sexual assault because the “young women delayed reporting.” You may also remember a NYT article from 2014 detailing an assault survivor’s treatment by the colleges. I appreciate what the students are doing on this important issue – their voices help us remember what is at stake – but I hope it forces us to come down harder on schools for failing to protect AND SUPPORT students, without slut-shaming or victim blaming them as happened to women at the very same college. Good on 3ML, and SHAME on you, HWS.

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