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NPR Arts & Life

Halsey's Recital Of 'A Story Like Mine' Traces The Staggering Prevalence Of Assault

Content advisory: The video below contains strong language and may be offensive to some.


Thousands of people took to the streets this past Saturday in the second Women's March on Washington, a nationwide event that marked the anniversary of President Trump's first year in office. Like last year, the marches were dotted with celebrities, including pop singer Halsey in New York City.

At the march, Halsey performed a poem titled "A Story Like Mine." In the poem, the singer told a series of stories about sexual assault and violence from throughout her life, reading: "Every friend that I know has a story like mine."

She begins with the time she accompanied her friend to a Planned Parenthood after her friend had been raped. From there, sexual assaults perpetrated by neighbors and boyfriends as she grew up. Then, her frustration and anger at the violence that continued even after she thought her hard work and fame made her untouchable.

"What do you mean this happened to me?" Halsey exclaims. "You can't put your hands on me. You don't know what my body has been through. I'm supposed to be safe now. I've earned it."

Halsey concludes by asking all survivors and their allies — "Black, Asian, poor, wealthy, trans, cis, Muslim, Christian" — to listen to each other's stories.

"We are not free until all of us are free, so love your neighbor, please treat her kindly. Ask her her story and then shut up and listen," she reads. "Listen, and then yell at the top of your lungs, be a voice for all those who have prisoner tongues."

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